Nine Entertainment Co. has confirmed its million sale of ACP magazines to German publisher Bauer, with details expected to be finalised in the next four to eight weeks.
The announcement follows mounting industry speculation over the last month, with the sale originally tipped to be worth $600 million.
Reports of the sale appeared yesterday afternoon, with publications believing the sale price to be $500 million, which was $100 million less than the anticipated price.
Earlier this week, The Australian suggested talks about the sale were at an "advanced stage", and that Nine would use the money to pay down some of its $2.7 billion of senior debt.
NEC chief executive officer David Gyngell said in a statement: “The decision to sell the magazine business is not one we have made lightly. On balance however, the sale provides NEC with an attractive all cash valuation and ACP with the benefits of being part of a global publisher organisation. This sale will also allow us to focus on our core television and growing digital and events businesses.”
Bauer publisher and owner Yvonne Bauer added: “We are delighted to welcome ACP as a member of the Bauer Media Group. ACP fits our strategy of developing the Bauer Media Group globally, we believe in print, and ACP's strong brands in Australia and New Zealand are perfect platforms to expand into digital areas.”
ACP magazines chief executive Matthew Stanton commented: "Being part of the Bauer Media Group provides ACP with a positive and clear future, under an owner who is focused on magazines and who will support investment and growth in our business. This outcome provides a commitment for the long term for both our brands and our people."
ACP titles include Harper's Bazaar, Cleo, Cosmpolitan, Woman's Day and Women's Weekly.
Bauer Media Group, based in Hamburg, Germany, publishes around 400 magazines across Germany, Britain and the US. Titles include Grazia, Closer, FHM, Zoo and a number of women's lifestyle magazines.
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