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Australian billionaire Rinehart selling 15% Fairfax Media stake: reports

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Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, the country's richest person, is selling her stake of nearly 15 per cent in newspaper publisher Fairfax Media Ltd, media reported on Friday.

[SYDNEY] Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, the country's richest person, is selling her stake of nearly 15 per cent in newspaper publisher Fairfax Media Ltd, media reported on Friday.

Ms Rinehart decided to sell her 14.99 per cent stake in the A$2.2 billion (US$1.7 billion) company in afterhours trading, with the sale managed by Morgan Stanley, according to several media outlets, including the Fairfax-owned Australian Financial Review.

The magnate is selling her shares at A$0.87, compared to the stock's closing price of A$0.96, the reports said.

Fairfax and Morgan Stanley did not return calls requesting comment.

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Ms Rinehart, who inherited iron ore mines in resources-rich Western Australia state then rode the commidities boom and was briefly the world's richest woman, has been Fairfax's biggest shareholder since staging a share raid in 2012.

That purhase stoked speculation Ms Rinehart was considering a full takeover of the company although no bid was ever reported.

The reports of the stake sale come after a halving of iron ore prices since mid-2014 that has forced many Australian mining firms to dramatically rein in spending.

Fairfax shares ended at their highest close since June 10 2014, in line with a 12th day of gains on the broad market.

REUTERS

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