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In 1987, Warwick Fairfax, then aged 26, controversially bought out his family's holdings in the company by borrowing heavily.He successfully took it over; but, on 10 December 1990, the company collapsed and a receiver was appointed, By 1993, the company was re-listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and the two biggest shareholders of John Fairfax Holdings were the Canadian newspaper magnate Conrad Black and his Hollinger Group with 25%, and the Australian media mogul, Kerry Packer and his publicly listed company, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited with 15%.Fairfax began expanding in the 1960s, acquiring, among others, The Age, The Newcastle Herald and the Illawarra Mercury.In 1979, Rupert Murdoch attempted to take over rival The Herald and Weekly Times.The company was founded by John Fairfax who purchased The Sydney Morning Herald in 1841, and the Fairfax family retained control of the business until late in the 20th century.Today, the company also owns major Australian newspapers The Age and Australian Financial Review, a majority stake in property business Domain Group and the Macquarie Radio Network, as well as joint ventures in both streaming service Stan and online publisher Huff Post Australia.Graham Mott will continue in his role as general manager of the broadcast radio group under Fairfax.
The staff reductions would take place in both Australia and New Zealand, with the latter country bearing the brunt of the cuts, with 160 full-time employees losing their jobs.
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Fairfax Media Limited (formerly John Fairfax and Sons) is one of the largest media companies in Australia and New Zealand, with investments in newspaper, magazines, radio and digital properties.
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Due to Australian government concerns over media consolidation that limited any single foreign shareholder holding more than 25% interest in national and metropolitan newspapers, In August 2005, Fairfax ended its 16-month search for a new chief executive officer with David Kirk, a former Rugby Union World Cup winning captain of the New Zealand All Blacks being appointed to replace departing CEO Fred Hilmer.