Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has bought almost 15 per cent of APN News & Media from the group’s major Irish shareholder.
The Brisbane-based media group owns some 14 daily and 28 weekly newspapers in Queensland and northern NSW, including local titles Northern Star, Ballina Advocate and Byron Shire News.
The company also owns a network of radio stations and a profitable outdoor advertising division.
The move comes as the Coalition government is considering ditching the long-standing cross-media ownership laws.
News Corp, which bought 14.99 of the company is currently prevented from buying 15 per cent or more but the holding will give it a right of veto over any other proposed takeover.
APN rose briefly to $1.08 yesterday, returning to $1.00 by close of trade.
The purchase is still subject to ACCC and Foreign Investment Review Board approval.
The Byron Shire Echo and Echonetdaily remain fully locally owned and editorially independent publications.