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Fairfax prepares for Trade Me IPO

NZPA

Friday 26th August 2011

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Fairfax Media is preparing for a sale of between 30 and 35 percent of online auction website Trade Me in an initial public offering (IPO).

The IPO remained subject to financial market conditions, but if it went ahead Trade Me would become a stand-alone, publicly listed company on the New Zealand Exchange (NZX).

Consideration would also be given to an ASX listing, Fairfax said today.

The way Trade Me worked, and the focus on providing a safe and trusted marketplace to buy and sell would remain the same, Fairfax said.

The decision to pursue the IPO was an initiative arising from a recent strategic review of the Fairfax portfolio of assets.

It was anticipated proceeds from any IPO would be used to reduce debt and provide flexibility to increase dividends, Fairfax said.

Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood said Trade Me was now of a sufficient scale to operate as a standalone, separately listed company.

Fairfax believed it would benefit from an increased public profile, independent access to capital, and opportunity for direct investment by New Zealand investors.

Former Fairfax chief executive David Kirk had agreed to be the non-executive chairman of Trade Me.



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