FAIRFAX Media, publisher of “The Canberra Times”, is understood to have “run a ruler” over local online property business Allhomes, according to a report in the Fairfax-owned “Australian Financial Review” this morning.
“AFR” describes Allhomes as having a “stranglehold” on the ACT’s real estate listings and to be valued at as much as $60 million.
Given Fairfax’s own dominant “Domain” real estate advertising presence via the daily paper’s printed and internet resources, any union of the two organisations would almost be certain to attract ACCC attention.
The report says that it is believed Fairfax made an “informal approach” to Allhomes, but that it is unclear whether a binding offer eventuated.
The “AFR” also reveals that Allhomes, a private company that is majority owned by the Blackshaw real estate family, “is thought to have spurned an offer from utility joint venture ActewAGL about three years ago.”
Andrea Blackshaw is listed as a director of Allhomes in filings with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
“Her husband Peter Blackshaw was listed as a director until recently, and documents show the company’s share structure was changed last September,” the paper says.
“The Canberra Times”, during its Rural Press ownership, also had a failed tilt at Allhomes about eight years ago at a price believed to have been around $10 million.