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Bauer Media sold to Mercury Capital

One of Australia’s largest publishers, Bauer Media, will soon be in the hands of private equity, with Mercury Capital agreeing to buy the business.

The deal includes the Pacific Magazines assets which Bauer recently acquired from Seven West Media for $40m.

Under Mercury Capital’s ownership, the company will be rebranded, however its new name is not yet clear.

Bauer Media is exiting Australia 

Mercury Capital describes itself as a firm which seeks to “invest alongside management, founders and other shareholders in businesses that demonstrate leadership in their industry, clear growth strategies and compelling growth opportunities”.

It’s not yet clear what Mercury Capital’s intentions are with the local business, but local CEO Brendon Hill said the sale was marked an exciting new chapter.

“With new ownership and our bolstered portfolio, we have unparalleled opportunities to connect with more Australians than ever before and continue our strategy of digital growth and innovation,” he said.

“We have increased flexibility to diversify revenue streams and grow and innovate across our multi-platform offerings. Additionally, we are well placed to invest in the key drivers of future success – high-quality content and digital development which is good for us, our audiences, clients and the Australian industry as a whole.”

And despite the ongoing challenges facing the magazine publisher – including the drift to digital, the ad market downturn and multiple rounds of redundancies and stand-downs – Hill was optimistic about the future.

“Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have seen significant growth in subscriptions and digital audiences across our food, home, youth and fashion brands, demonstrating that Australians still love and read our brands. We have seen great vision, success and growth under Bauer Media Group ownership and now look forward to working alongside Mercury Capital to build on this growth under a new brand in the future,” he said.

Bauer Media’s COO Veit Dengler, based in Germany, thanked the Australian teams for their contribution to Bauer’s local magazine brands.

“We have been proud to be the custodian of these iconic brands in Australia. I would like to thank our talented teams for their commitment and the contribution they have made to Bauer Media. I wish them well for the future,” he said.

The sale is subject to regulatory approval with the transaction expected to be complete in mid-July and the new brand to be announced in the coming months.

Dengler said Bauer Media remains committed to magazine publishing.

“Bauer Media remains committed to magazine publishing. This decision supports our strategy to invest in our market leading brands where we believe we are best placed to do so,” he said.

Mumbrella will be interviewing local Bauer Media CEO Brendon Hill later this morning. 

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