Monday, 16 May 2016

APN Australian Regional Media to remain with APN News & Media if demerger goes ahead but Murdoch circling regional mastheads

At the moment it appears that Australian east coast regional newspapers owned by APN News & Media will remain with APN if the proposed NZME demerger goes ahead.

The same applies if talks between Fairfax Media and APN result in a merger between NZME and Fairfax Media New Zealand.

However, these 100 regional newspapers and websites in Queensland and NSW  are still up for sale and the possibility that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will be the eventual owner of some or all of that stable remains.

The Australian, 9 March 2016:

News Corp, publisher of The Australian, is believed to be circling the regional community newspapers owned by APN News and Media, which called on Credit Suisse to ­divest the portfolio.

News Corp already owns a network of 111 local mastheads, some of which are believed to be highly lucrative, and sources said the company was taking “a good look” at the APN offering.

The company declined to comment yesterday.

News already holds a stake of almost 15 per cent in the company and counts APN’s former boss ­Michael Miller as its executive chairman. It is understood News had been approached by APN to look at the portfolio. Ciaran Davis was recently named as APN’s new chief executive…..

Sources have suggested that some of the publications would be closed if a buyer could not be found. However, deal-makers yesterday said the newspapers were a good acquisition prospect for an acquirer at the right price that could capitalise on synergies and cash flow.

The news comes with the expectation of increasing deal activity in the media sector, with companies already lining up advisers in anticipation of new laws being passed that will relax restrictions on how many viewers any one television broadcaster can access nationally.

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