John B. Fairfax is the son of media titan, John Fairfax, who established Fairfax Media.
In 2003 Mr. Fairfax invested roughly $5 million into Cameron O’Reilly’s Bayard Capital alongside Allianz Australia chairman John Curtis, Kerry Stokes of the Seven Network, investment firms from both Singapore and Switzerland and others. Together the initial investment into Bayard Capital totalled $100 million.
Following the privitisation of Fairfax Media in 1987, John B. Fairfax came away from the company with Rural Press (now known as Australia Community Media). In 2006 with Mr. Fairfax serving as Rural Press’ chairman, sold the company back to Fairfax Media for $1 billion. In 2011 Mr. Fairfax sold his remaining 9.3% stake in Fairfax Media for $193 million.
In 2017 Private Media, the parent company of Crikey, sold a significant share of its business to both Mr. Fairfax and Mr. O’Reilly. In 2018, amidst the speculation regarding Nine Entertainment’s potential merger with Fairfax, it was reported that Mr. Fairfax and Mr. O’Reilly had “injected funds” into Private Media, with Bayard Capital becoming a “significant shareholder” in the company. According to David Donovan for Independent Australia, Mr. Fairfax and his family currently hold roughly 30% ownership of Crikey.
In 2019 Mr. Fairfax and Mr. O’Reilly invested $2 million into launching Crikey’s investigation division, known as Inq. Private Media has also received a number of government grants including $399,000 to “improve Crikey’s customer engagement and distribution” and $456,000 for “the development of a “professional network” for The Mandarin”.