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.