Trade Me sale reported

Fairfax must really be in the crapper if they have sold their cash cow.

Fairfax Media is reportedly selling its remaining stake in Trade Me for about A$650 million (NZ$810m).

If the sale were to proceed, it would considerably pay down the company?s debts.

The stake is reportedly being sold to a range of New Zealand and Australian institutions in a placement through UBS, according to market sources.

The quoted sale figure would exceed what Fairfax paid for Trade Me in its initial investment five years ago.

Fairfax bought the online auction company from founder Sam Morgan and his fellow private investors for NZ$700m in 2006 and previously recouped NZ$364m by selling a 34 per cent stake through Trade Me?s initial public offering in December 2011.

It may pay down their debt but it also removes a money spinner…leaving them with assets that are failing in any case…perhaps this is a death spiral.