Fairfax Media is in a trading halt. The company will issue a statement on the future of Domain, its blended online and print real estate business, in the next few days. Media reports in rival News Corp papers say the property group will be spun off, but that Fairfax will retain 60 to 70 per cent ownership.
Others speculate that Domain might effectively consume the rest of Fairfax in a giant rebadging exercise to shift the emphasis away from the newspaper businesses.
The Australian, meanwhile, reports that CEO Greg Hywood and event division manager Andrew McEvoy will leave before the end of the year.
Antony Catalano’s name is in the frame as the new CEO, although that rumour has been doing the rounds for many months. He is the current CEO of Domain. Catalano is also believed one of the largest private shareholders, as a function of Fairfax’s acquisition of his company Metro Media Publishing Holdings.
As late as December, Catalano was saying there was no need to float Domain. And ,as we reported last year, there are significant structural impediments to floating Domain as so much revenue is still tied up in the newspapers.