2 US private equity firms bid for Australia newspaper empire

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's second-largest newspaper empire, Fairfax Media, says it has received rival takeover offers from two U.S. private equity investment firms.

The multimedia company said Thursday a non-binding indicative offer had been received Wednesday from San Francisco-based Hellman & Friedman at a price of between AU$1.225 ($0.9138) and AU$1.250 ($0.9325) per share.

That offer values Fairfax at between AU$2.82 billion ($2.10 billion) and AU$2.87 billion ($2.14 billion).

TPG Group, also based in San Francisco, made an improved offer of AU$1.20 ($0.8952) per share on Monday that valued the Australian company at AU$2.76 billion ($2.06 billion).

The Fairfax board will invite both bidders to conduct due diligence.

The multimedia media company based in Sydney was founded in 1841 and is also one of two companies that dominate the New Zealand newspaper industry.