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APN shares plunge after board upheaval

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AAP

2013-02-19

Shares in APN News and Media have fallen by more than 13 per cent after the forced departure of the company's chief executive, chairman and three independent directors.

The resignations came at the request of APN's two largest shareholders - Ireland-based Independent News and Media and funds manager Allan Gray, which together hold a 51 per cent stake.

The two had opposed a proposed pro-rata capital raising being considered by the regional and New Zealand newspaper publisher.

Chief executive Brett Chenoweth, chairman Peter Hunt and independent directors Melinda Conrad, John Harvey and John Maasland left the company on Monday.

APN shares resumed trading on the share market on Tuesday, after being placed a trading halt on Friday ahead of its proposed capital raising.

They were down four cents, or 13.3 per cent, at 26 cents at 1011 AEDT.

The APN board met on Sunday to discuss reducing its debt, but failed to agree on a method.

In December, APN said it was expecting net profit for calendar 2012 of between $51 million and $54 million, a decline of up to 34 per cent from the prior year.