APN's key shareholder takes aim at CEO
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APN News & Media has placed its shares in a trading halt amid speculation about the future of its chief executive.
The halt was called for on Friday after APN's biggest shareholder, Ireland's Independent News & Media, called for an extraordinary general meeting to oust Brett Chenoweth.
British and Irish media reports said IN&M had lost confidence in Mr Chenoweth.
The Irish Times said IN&M released a statement saying it had lost confidence in Mr Chenoweth's "ability to implement the strategic initiatives necessary to reposition APN for the more challenged media landscape that has emerged in Australasia".
IN&M said APN had underperformed in terms of earnings and that it was seeking an extraordinary meeting to allow all APN shareholders to express their views.
APN said it was investigating the comments and said the non-IN&M directors on APN's board unanimously supported Mr Chenoweth as chief executive.
APN believed the comments attributed to an IN&M source arose from the fact that the company was considering a capital raising.
"The reason for the trading halt is to prevent trading taking place in a speculative or uninformed market while APN investigates INM's comments and completes its deliberations about a potential capital raising," APN said in a statement.
APN owns outdoor advertising, radio stations and regional newspapers in Australia and New Zealand.
Its shares last traded at 30 cents.