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APN News shares halted on report INM seeks CEO’s ouster

Shares of APN News & Media were halted after the Irish Independent newspaper reported that 28.95 percent owner Independent News & Media has called for the resignation of chief executive and director Brett Chenoweth.

The report says INM has formally advised APN of its views and is seeking an extraordinary meeting of shareholders.

INM 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", it says, citing an INM statement.

APN said today that Mr Chenoweth and his strategy have the unanimous support of non-INM directors.

The dual-listed shares last traded 30 Australian cents on the ASX.

APN sought the trading halt "in light of press reports today regarding comments by Independent News & Media concerning APN's CEO", according to its statement to the ASX.

It was investigating the comments, which it believed stemmed from APN's consideration of a pro-rata capital raising, it said. The company is being advised by Macquarie Capital on the potential capital raising.

"The reason for the trading halt taking place is to prevent trading taking place in a speculative or uninformed market while APN investigates INM's comments and completes deliberations about a potential capital raising," it said.

The media company is grappling with falling advertising revenue and plans to sell non-core media assets in New Zealand following a strategic review of operations in this country.

It took an $A485 million charge against its New Zealand publishing assets unit as part of the ongoing review.

New Zealand billionaire Owen Glenn last month told BusinessDesk he passed on a chance to bid for the NZ Herald, saying the numbers didn't stack up.