Updated: ACP Magazines to be sold to Bauer

The most Australian of media companies will soon be in German ownership.

ACP Magazines is to be sold to European publisher Bauer to reduce the debts of parent company Nine Entertainment Co.

Although there was no announcement on price, the figure has been reported to be around $500m.

Nine Entertainment Co’s cross platform operation Powered By Nine will continue to sell advertising on ACP titles, the company said.

ACP titles include Australian Women’s Weekly, Harper’s BAZAAR, Grazia, Cleo, Woman’s Day and Zoo Weekly.

Steve Allen, chief executive of media consultants Fusion Strategy told Mumbrella: “Five hundred million in this market is fully priced. It’s surprising that a Hamburg based publisher would want to come all this way, but they have bought the number one magazine group. The Nine management group is thin on magazine experience. ACP had its golden days some years ago with print experienced executives. The best thing about Bauer is probably that they’re prepared to invest, to put some marketing behind the titles.”

The sale is part of a cash fund raising drive by Nine, which has listed $2.8 billion in debt which needs to be repaid or refinanced by February.

The move comes a month after rumours about Bauer buying ACP began to circulate.

Mumbrella understands that ACP’s plans for the launch of Women’s Fitness this month are going ahead, with the magazines currently being printed and due to hit news stands next week.

The announcement:

Nine Entertainment Co. (NEC) and Bauer Media Group (Bauer) today announced that they have reached agreement to sell 100% of ACP Magazines Ltd (ACP) to Bauer. The sale is expected to close in the next four to eight weeks. Both parties have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.

ACP, which was established in 1933, is Australia and New Zealand’s largest magazine publisher, reaching over 15 million Australians each year. With leading magazine titles in almost every category, ACP’s major brands include The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Cleo, Take 5, TV Week, Australian House & Garden, Gourmet Traveller and Zoo. ACP also operates a highly successful Trader and Custom business.

“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.” said David Gyngell, Chief Executive Officer of NEC.

“We are delighted to welcome ACP as a member of the Bauer Media Group”, said publisher and owner Yvonne Bauer, “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.”

The impact of the sale on the operations of both NEC and ACP is expected to be minimal. Post completion, NEC and ACP will continue to work closely together in a number of areas including go to market strategies under the NEC operated “Powered” cross platform unit. Powered will continue to deliver ideas and insights utilising the breadth of media that the combined strength of NEC and ACP bring.

Matthew Stanton, CEO of ACP commented “Being part of the Bauer Media Group provides ACP with a positive and clear future, under an owner who is focussed 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.”


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