Fairfax New Zealand’s merger with NZME blocked by appeal court

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 25 September 2018

Fairfax's plans to merge its New Zealand unit, Stuff, with NZME have again been blocked.

New Zealand's Court of Appeal today rejected the two businesses appeal against the High Court’s decision last December to block the merger.

The deal, which would have seen NZME pay NZ$55m to acquire Fairfax New Zealand’s assets, was first rejected by the The New Zealand competition regulator on the basis of reducing competition and concentrating ownership.

NZME decided in February to contest the High Court decision.

NZME CEO Michael Boggs said he was disappointed by the decision and argued merger is in the best interests of NZME’s shareholders and the New Zealand media industry.

The business will now review the judgement and consider its options.

When the merger was rejected last year, Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood criticised the decision and said the media company would have to cut jobs to remain viable in the New Zealand market.

The ruling comes as Fairfax Media and Nine await the ACCC's decision on its merger.

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