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ConsMedia nod for Foxtel sale to News
ConsMedia nod for Foxtel sale to News

UPDATE 1.05pm: Rupert Murdoch's News Limited will double its stake in Foxtel within a fortnight after Consolidated Media shareholders approved a $1.94 billion takeover deal.

Consolidated Media will seek Federal Court approval for the deal on Friday and wind up the company next week, making all employees redundant.

Despite an overwhelming vote in favour of the deal, six directors of James Packer's media company were re-elected at the company's annual general meeting in Crown Perth.

“Most of the directors have been elected for all of two weeks, which is a record for a public company in this country,” chairman John Alexander said after the meeting.

Mr Alexander said the re-election took place in accordance with corporate regulations.

He and other directors, including James Packer, Geoff Dixon and Peter Gammell, would not seek any executive positions at News Limited which will now control Fox Sports and own half of Foxtel.

“We assume News will not be seeking any outside help,” he said.

Consolidated Media's small staff, including three executives and some clerical staff, would all be made redundant by the end of November.

Only 0.09 per cent of shareholders voted against the takeover deal which was recommended by board members because no superior offers were made.

Shareholders will receive $3.45 per share under the scheme which becomes effective on November 12.

Earlier this month the competition regulator ruled out a potential rival bid by the Seven Group.

Consolidated Media holds a 50 per cent stake in pay TV channel producer Fox Sports and 25 per cent of Australia's largest TV operator Foxtel.

Mr Alexander said while there was some emotion involved in winding up the company, the takeover offer made overwhelming sense for shareholders.

Still, his own future was yet to be determined.

“I'm a director at Crown and that will continue,” Mr Alexander said.

He said he would not play a role in the businesses under News.

ACCC chairman Ron Sims has said the watchdog believed the acquisition was unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any relevant market.

Goldman Sachs believes Consolidated Media's earnings will add around two per cent to News Limited's earnings per share.