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Murdoch Ups Ante in Bid for Australian Media Firm

January 10, 1987|Associated Press

SYDNEY, Australia — The takeover battle for Australia's largest media company, Herald & Weekly Times Ltd., escalated again Friday as publisher Rupert Murdoch sweetened his bid to the equivalent of $1.54 billion.

At the same time, however, Murdoch's effort was slowed by legal action taken by his rival bidder, Australian financier Robert Holmes a Court.

The Supreme Court of the State of Victoria, responding to Holmes a Court's request, issued a temporary injunction preventing Murdoch from gaining more than 15% of Herald & Weekly's stock.

Murdoch's principal holding company, Sidney-based News Corp., owns about 12% of Herald & Weekly.

Murdoch lifted his offer to 15 Australian dollars, or about $10, for each Herald & Weekly share, topping Holmes a Court's bid of $9.05 a share and Murdoch's initial bid of $8.05 a share.

Murdoch also sweetened the terms of an alternative offer of News Corp. stock and other securities for Herald & Weekly.

Holmes a Court, in turn, had previously raised his offer from $8.70 a share, and last week Herald & Weekly's board had accepted his new proposal.

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