APN and Fairfax in talks over NZ merger

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 10 May 2016

APN News and Media and Fairfax Media are said to be considering a merger of their New Zealand businesses, The Australian Financial Review is reporting.

The news comes just a day after APN lodged a full trading halt with the ASX over its New Zealand business NZME, ahead of its annual general meeting tomorrow.

The Australian reported yesterday that APN is preparing to launch a capital raising of $200 million in order to demerge its NZ assets, which includes newspaper The New Zealand Herald.

There was also speculation yesterday in The Aus that Fairfax could be set to offload its New Zealand business via demerger, trade sale or IPO.

The AFR says that it understands that Grant Samuel is providing advisory work on the possible merger of NZME with Fairfax Media's New Zealand assets.

The Fairfax-owned publication also added however, there is no guarantee of a tie up between Fairfax and APN and any deal would be subject to New Zealand's competition regulator, the Commerce Commission.

Commenting on the speculation yesterday, Fairfax posted a statement to the ASX that read: “Fairfax continues to explore options for all its businesses including Fairfax New Zealand, but at this time there is nothing to disclose.

“Fairfax is aware of its continuous disclosure obligations and confirms that it is in compliance with the ASX Listing Rules. Fairfax will keep the market informed as required."

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