The chairman of Fairfax Media, Mr Corbett, who stands in her way to gaining seats on the board with Ms Rinehart’s refusal to sign the company’s charter of independence.
It is fairly transparent that she wants seats on the board so she can break the charter of independence or influence what is printed – presumably to unfairly represent her own interests.
Her recent ultimatum is a cunning play to unseat the chairman by playing the “concerned” share holder. See the ABC Report here.
The thing is if the Share prices can rise to her demand and she can’t see off the chairman nor secure the seats on the board she can sell her shares at a tidy profit.
If the Share prices don’t rise to her demand then she has ammunition see see off the chairman and secure the seats on the board without signing the company’s charter of independence.
For Rinehart it is a possible win-win.
So why is she targeting Fairfax and not the beleaguered News Corporation ?
Because relative to mining’s own interests Fairfax media such as the Sydney Morning Herald, which has been more independent than News reporting. The best way to win is to buy out your enemies not your friends.
Don’t be miss-led into thinking Share ownership is a democratic process, nor is it a free market model. Shareholders are not individuals or corporations they are the people who own shares at the time. It is easy to enter or leave ownership. The board chooses to emphasie their shareholders as the key stakeholder, ignoring there customers, staff and the community from which they extract their profits for one reason only. This is because shareholders are transient and the most impotent in exerting control. Just look at shareholder demands for reduced executive salaries and how often nothing changes. Shareholders have a range of needs and obligations that they can managed by down selling shares, the new shareholders may not be sensitive to past misdemeanors of management giving management a long leash. How much can you influence a company at one annual general meeting where you do not control proceedings. Unless a vote is put you can’t exercise your voting rights.
It is time to stop ignorantly chanting the “Market” song and get on with developing a society which takes full account of all our interests Shareholders, customers, staff, the community and most commonly ignored altogether – the Environment.