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Fairfax Shares Take A Bath

Shares in Fairfax nosedived almost 11 percent on the ASX yesterday, following the weekend announcement that two possible contenders for parts of its publishing empire had both decided to walk away without actually making a bid.

Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman late last week revealed that it was unlikely to make a bid; and over the weekend the US-based TPG outfit also confirmed that it had decided not to proceed with a $2. 7 billion takeover offer (CDN yesterday).

Fairfax shares opened at 91. 5c on the ASX yesterday as some investors rushed to get out of the stock. They later recovered to 95c, still down 13 percent, and then staged another mini-recovery to close at 98c, down 12 cents, or 10. 9 percent.

The company briefed analysts during the day to say it plans to stick with its earlier plan to spin off Domain, its highly successful real estate guide.

Fairfax meanwhile has also said it expects group revenue to be down 6 percent in the second half of its financial year ending June 30, but is tipping full-year earnings of $262-266 million.

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