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Fairfax fights for Finsia

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By Madeleine Collins
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2 minute read

A battle is raging to win over Finsia's 20,000 members.

Fairfax Media is trying to sway the votes of 20,000 members of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia) to overturn the sale of its education division to a US firm.

Fairfax has put up $42 million to buy Finsia Education, $6 million more than a rival bid from Kaplan, a subsidiary of the Washington Post company, which also owns financial services provider Tribeca.

Fairfax has offered the institute $40 million in cash and $2 million in advertising in Fairfax publications for five years.

The acquisition would bolster the company's plans to start an education business.

However, the offer came two days after Finsia's directors accepted Kaplan's $36 million offer. Members need to vote on the deal by June 14.

Finsia plans to use the money from the sale to provide more services to members.

Fairfax emailed Finsia members to explain its position after the institute's directors rejected the offer.

"We're trying to communicate to members as well as we can," Fairfax Business Media chief executive Michael Gill said.

Finsia is refusing to negotiate with Fairfax because it says offer is too conditional and lacks certainty.

"Kaplan brings a global exposure and is already in education," Finsia said. "Neither is true for Fairfax."

Gill said Fairfax and Finsia had previously discussed ways that the two businesses could work together.

"It was our clear impression from those meetings that Finsia Education was not for sale," Gill said.

"Discussions relating to potential mutual plans were current at the time of the sale announcement."