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Fairfax Media Shareholders Vote To Approve Nine Merger

Fairfax shareholders have given the green light to the company’s planned merger with Nine, a deal aimed at creating Australia’s largest media company.

As Nine CEO Hugh Marks, who will lead the new company, sat at the back of yesterday’s shareholder meeting, Fairfax investors voted 81.49 per cent of shares in favour of the merger, while 18.5 per cent were voted against the plan.

Said Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon: “The merger brings together two largely complementary businesses to create a diversified portfolio of media assets, comprising Fairfax’s mastheads, Nine’s FTA TV network, high-growth digital businesses including Domain, Stan and 9Now, as well as radio interests through Macquarie Media.”

Former Domain CEO Antony Catalano sought to put a spanner in the works on Sunday with a letter to Falloon in which he proposed to buy 19.9 per cent of Fairfax shares and sell non-core assets to return cash to shareholders – but the shareholders said this “did not constitute a superior proposal”.

The merger still has to be approved by the Federal Court, with a decision due on November 27. If that happens, the new company, to be simply called Nine, will begin operations on Monday, December 10.

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