Rinehart boosts Fairfax stake to 18.7%

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has increased her stake in Fairfax Media to 18.67 per cent with a recent purchase of more than 143 million shares.

Mrs Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting confirmed in a notice to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Monday that recent purchases had increased its stake from the previously advised 12.6 per cent.

Fairfax shares have been trading at an average of 60 cents in recent weeks, indicating Mrs Rinehart spent about $86 million on the new shares.

She has been seeking a position on the board of Fairfax since becoming its major shareholder at the beginning of 2012.

The news of her increased stake comes on the same day the company announced major changes to its newspaper business, which will result in 1,900 staff cuts in the next three years.

News of the restructure has sent Fairfax shares higher, up 4.5 cents, or 7.4 per cent, at 65 cents on Monday.

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