Nine confirms interest in Macquarie Media buyout

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 6 December 2018
Hugh Marks at the 2017 Nine Upfronts

Nine has confirmed that it has entered into discussions with radio network Macquarie Media, in a bid to purchase the remaining shares in the business.

The historic merger between Nine and Fairfax, which received final Federal Court approval last week, gave Nine a 54.5% controlling interest in Macquarie Media.

Trading as a single entity as of next week, Nine stated that it "has had some preliminary discussions regarding the outstanding shares", adding that it would make further comment on the matter should the discussion "progress to a transaction".

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, John Singleton, who has a 32% stake in the Macquarie Media business, is expected to offload his stake to Nine, with discussions already underway.

The remaining 13.5% is held by independent shareholders, with no other shareholder owning a stake larger than 1.50%.

It is also thought that should the deal go ahead, further cost-cutting is likely to take place within the business. It is thought the current mega-merger between Nine and Fairfax will lead to savings of close to $50 million.

Earlier this week it was revealed that nearly 100 people will lose their jobs off the back of the merger, with a total 144 roles to be made redundant due to duplication, while some vacant positions no longer required.

In a note to all Nine and Fairfax employees on Monday, CEO Hugh Marks shared the finer details of redundancies, redeployment and senior leadership for the combined entity.

The SMH also reported that there is the possibility of further job cuts should the Macquarie buyout go ahead, with duplication of roles in each editorial department likely.

Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang has been approached for comment.

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