U.S. buyout company TPG Capital Management announced it will be committed to editorial independence once it succeeds in it’s A$2.76 billion ($2.05 billion) proposal for Australia’s newspaper publisher Fairfax Media Ltd.
The proposed transaction is still subject to foreign investment approvals. Some politicians said conditions would have to be placed on the deal in order to guarantee the publication of mastheads like The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review.
Fairfax Media’s newspaper earnings have dropped with classified advertising turning to the internet instead. The shift makes the Domain real estate classifieds unit its most profitable business.
“I am here to assure you that, in the event TPG and its partners are fortunate enough to acquire Fairfax, we will be responsible stewards of those assets, from a journalistic perspective as well as a financial one,” TPG Head of Australia and New Zealand Joel Thickens said.
U.S. private equity company Hellman & Friedman also made a takeover offer for Fairfax worth A$2.87 billion.
Fairfax said it would reduce 125 journalist jobs, the latest in several rounds of major editorial job cuts which have sparked concerns for the future of public interest journalism in Australia.
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