November 2, 2017 / 12:13 AM / a year ago

Australia's Fairfax shareholders vote to spin-off property classifieds unit

(Reuters) - Australian newspaper publisher Fairfax Media (FXJ.AX) said on Thursday its shareholders had agreed to a plan to spin off its real estate classifieds unit, Domain Holdings Australia Ltd, into a standalone listed company.

FILE PHOTO: The Fairfax Media headquarters are pictured in Sydney, Australia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed

The resolution “received overwhelming support from shareholders,” the publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review newspapers said in a statement.

The company added that it expected Domain to start trading on the Australian Securities Exchange on Nov. 16.

The mandate clears the path for the company to sell its biggest-earning unit and keep a 60 percent stake. Fairfax expects Domain shares will grow as a result of being freed from the turmoil surrounding the broader media sector, and that it will benefit via its equity stake.

Fairfax ramped up efforts to break out its Domain business after U.S. private equity firms TPG Capital Management [TPG.UL] and Hellman & Friedman abandoned moves to acquire the company.

The publisher has said it would give shareholders one Domain share for every 10 Fairfax shares they own if the separation went ahead.

Fairfax said there would be no new capital raised for the Domain separation.

The second court hearing for the approval of the resolution was scheduled for Nov. 6.

Shares of the company fell as much as 0.9 percent, while the broader market was little changed.

Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick; Editing by Stephen Coates

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