SYDNEY May 18 Australian newspaper publisher
Fairfax Media Ltd on Thursday said it would grant due
diligence access to two rival private equity bidders after U.S.
buyout firm Hellman & Friedman made a surprise takeover proposal
of as much as A$2.87 billion ($2.13 billion).
The non-binding cash offer from Hellman & Friedman values
Fairfax at A$1.225 to A$1.25 a share, compared to an earlier
offer from TPG Capital Management and Ontario Teachers' Pension
Plan Board of A$1.20 a share, the Australian company said.
"We have carefully considered the indicative proposals and
believe it is in the best interests of shareholders to grant
both parties due diligence to explore whether a potential whole
of company proposal is available," Fairfax Chairman Nick Falloon
said in a statement.
The proposals remain subject to conditions including the
successful completion of due diligence and foreign investment
($1 = 1.3444 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Jamie Freed; editing by Grant McCool)