SYDNEY – The world’s richest woman Gina Rinehart has boosted her stake in ailing Australian media giant Fairfax to 18.67 percent as she bids to win a board seat, it was revealed Monday.
The mining billionaire increased her holding from 12.58 percent, according to a regulatory filing.
She has been critical of the company management and her move came as Fairfax said it would slash 1,900 jobs and erect paywalls on its flagship titles in a major overhaul towards a digital future.
As part of the plan, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne will shift from broadsheet format to a more compact, tabloid size and two printing facilities will be shut. Rinehart, who is worth Aus$29.17 billion (US$29.48 billion) according to an annual index by Business Review Weekly, has so far been unable to secure a seat on the Fairfax board despite being the company’s biggest shareholder.
Her initial move into the company earlier this year prompted the government to flag stronger media ownership laws amid concerns that the tycoon, who has been critical of the government, wanted to build her influence.