The feisty folk at realestate.com.au aren’t troubled by tweaking the nose of Rupert Murdoch.

They’ve just managed to screw another 50c a share or 25% more out of the Rupester’s local troops in News’s desperate bid to take control of the online real estate business. Here’s a report from Wednesday’s Australian.

Adding piquancy to the whole brawl over the price is that News owns 43% of realestate.com.au.

In takeovers, having a big, near-controlling shareholding doesn’t matter if management and other shareholders aren’t onside.

The trouble is Rupe and his local lads, in their mad desperate haste for all things online, tried to be too clever and pitched the opening price of $2 far too low for the liking of the management and founders.

Realestate.com.au shares traded at $1.68 just before that opening bid was revealed: so that’s a handy profit.

News Ltd’s local chairman, John Hartigan, says it won’t be increased. But the fate of the offer will be up to a couple of real estate agents, who control just over 15%.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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