Bells ring in new future for Domain

Bells ring in new future for Domain

Bells rang at midday today as Domain listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, signalling the start of the real estate listing company as a separate entity from publisher Fairfax Media.

Domain Holdings Australia opened on the ASX with a share price of $3.80, exceeding analysts’ expectations by 30c. Market capitalisation has the company valued at close to $2.2 billion.

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood said the listing demonstrated the strength of the publishing business.

“It’s the underlying testament to the strategy we took. How do you drive value in the publishing business beyond advertising and subscription?” he said. “We’ve driven Domain hard on that. We’re very happy about the approach of leveraging audiences and marketing inventory. Domain is a testimony to that.”

The enthusiasm was mirrored by Domain chief executive Antony Catalano. “The thing for us is our plan has been well articulated over the past three and a half years,” he said.

“We’ve got ourselves into a position where we’re well scaled up, well resourced, the right people on the ground, well resourced in product marketing and editorial teams.”

On Domain’s listing, Fairfax Media suffered an early dip of 30.8 per cent, sitting on 74c. The publishing company is now worth $700 million, while its 60 per cent share in the publisher sits at $1.7 billion.

The split was supported almost unanimously by shareholders, with a vote of 99.89 per cent, at Fairfax’s annual general meeting earlier this month.