APN in crisis

The Australian is reporting that APN is in crisis. Their shares have a trading halt, there is a board insurrection, as late as Friday their CEO and some of the board were insisting that there was nothing untoward. However now there is a full out board crisis:

APN News & Media has been thrown into deep crisis, with chief executive Brett Chenoweth, chairman Peter Hunt and three non-executive directors believed to be considering tendering their resignations as they face a block vote against a proposed capital raising.

The extraordinary move, which could happen as early as this morning, comes after an emergency board meeting was called yesterday where all the independent directors agreed a capital raising was required immediately to reduce debt levels of about $470 million.

Mr Chenoweth and Mr Hunt could be joined in handing in their resignations by non-executive directors Melinda Conrad, John Harvey and John Maasland, who all supported the motion in favour of a capital raising at the board meeting. 

It is believed the five directors consider their positions to be increasingly untenable after failing to win approval from board members Vincent Crowley and Peter Cosgrove and directors appointed by the largest shareholder, Independent News & Media. At a tense board meeting in Sydney yesterday afternoon, Mr Crowley and Mr Cosgrove refused to support the capital raising from the outset on behalf of INM because of the parlous state of the Irish publisher’s balance sheet.

Mr Crowley and Mr Cosgrove are the representatives for INM, which has a 28.95 per cent shareholding in APN.

The potential metrics behind a capital raising were not discussed, and supporting board members made the point that Macquarie Capital has advised APN in the strongest possible terms to go ahead with a capital raising.

The directors feel INM is forcing their hand with the support of the second-largest shareholder, Allan Gray.

With APN’s debt dwarfing a market capitalisation of $198 million, the directors feel they may have no choice other than to exit the board, with the situation said to be highly fluid.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    I wonder if the Director Cosgrove is related to Labour’s Cosgrove? That would certainly explain their left leaning twist and myopic slant on how stories are reported.

    Also why they didn’t dig too deep with Labours “passport for cash donation” corruption scandal that seemed to have died a quick, quiet death.

    Probably about time the Truth and WOBH revisited all that corruption?… Just to remind the public just how seedy Labour are once installed as the government.

    • Guest

      Do you mean the same way that right leaning papers slant their stories to favour that of right wing parties and the John Banks saga which dissapeared nice and quickly, quietly too. Both sides of the spectrum are as bad as each other. Admittedly one side uses emotion the other side uses money, hardly makes either correct but that of course depends on which way you lean as to which side you choose to believe.

      Their is no such thing as a truly unbiased opinion because everyone has an opinion weather its correct or not.

      I choose to believe…NONE OF THEM, I think they are all self serving prats who will do anything to keep their skins in parliament be it in power or in the seats of opposition (power being preferable to them naturally).

      • unitedtribes

        “Do you mean the same way that right leaning papers”

        No such thing

      • TeacherUnionsRscum

        Right leaning papers?


  • surfisup

    I blame the internet….

  • Captain Crab

    Hmm, perhaps the Independants are worried about personal liability if the company is insolvent and it continues to trade without more capital to prevent insolvency? Either way it seems obvious it’s in it’s death throes.

  • Mark

    WO, interestingly, in order to read the entire article you reference you have to pay AUD1.00 for a subscription!

  • Mark

    Maybe they could put the Herald on a $1 reserve on Fairfax’s Trade Me?

  • Anonymouse Coward

    APN staff had better work out if their accrued holiday pay exceeds the maximum that is treated as priority debt.

    You might find an incresed number who want to go on leave, right now.