Antony Catalano attempts to block Nine, Fairfax merger

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 19 November 2018
Antony Catalano

Former Domain CEO Antony Catalano is attempting to stop Fairfax Media's merger with Nine with a last minute proposal, according to reports.

Catalano, who left Domain in January, wrote to Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon last night proposing to buy a 19.9% share of the publisher and prevent the merger from going ahead, according to the AFR.

He asked shareholderes to delay their meeting to consider his offer, which would see the merger blocked and him given a seat on the Fairfax board.

AdNews understands the meeting will go ahead and that shareholders are supportive of the deal with Nine. If the deal is approved, Catalano said he will challenge it when it goes to Federal Court for approval.

Catalano led the Domain business for 26 years prior to his exit and argues his "unique knowledge" of the business would offer better value for shareholders. He noted that since Fairfax and Nine announced their merger plans, their share prices have declined.

The Nine/Fairfax merger was announced several months after Catalano exited Domain and allegations emerged he oversaw a boy's club culture within the real estate business.

The mega merger is expected to conclude at the end of 2018, having been approved by ACCC this month. It now awaits a shareholder vote.

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