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London-based GFG Alliance has bought Australia's Arrium, the miner and steelmaking giant said Wednesday, ending a tussle with a Korean consortium over the company after it went into voluntary administration last year. The cash-strapped firm, formerly known as OneSteel when it was spun-off from BHP Billiton in 2000, had struggled with bad debt on the back of plunging commodity prices. "The administrators and sale advisers Morgan Stanley decided the GFG Alliance offer was superior to the conditional offer of the Korean consortium with whom we were negotiating," Arrium administrator Mark Mentha said in a statement.
American investment firm Hellman & Friedman has kicked off a bidding war for Australia's Fairfax Media by making a multi-billion-dollar offer to rival private equity company TPG Capital's proposal, the publishing giant said Thursday. Hellman & Friedman -- former owners of US multimedia company and German publisher Axel Springer -- made an offer to acquire Fairfax at Aus$1.225-Aus$1.250 (91-93 US cents) a share late Wednesday, the Australian firm said. The offer is higher than TPG's revised bid of Aus$1.20 made on Monday, and values the publisher at Aus$2.82-Aus$2.87 billion.
A consortium led by private equity giant TPG Capital upped its offer for troubled Fairfax Media Monday and now wants to buy out the entire firm. Last week TPG and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board offered 95 Australian cents per share for Fairfax's leading mastheads and its lucrative Domain Group focused on property advertising. This would have left shareholders with Fairfax's regional papers, 50 percent of its online streaming service Stan and its beleaguered New Zealand business, which was recently dealt a blow when the country's competition watchdog rejected a merger with NZME.