APN is taken off the market

apn-logoIndependent News & Media has tonight said that its interests in APN in Australia and New Zealand are not for sale after all.

APN – which includes newspapers, radio, online and outdoor interests – was put on the block at the end of last year in an apparent effort by its parent company to shore up its balance sheet. Its assets in Australia include a string of Queensland newspapers, more than 20 radio stations, plus one of the biggest outdoor advertising inventories in the country.

In a statement released simultaneously in London and Dublin, INM suggested that it couldn’t get the price it wanted. It said: “INM has completed its strategic review of its 39.1% shareholding in leading Australasian media company, APN News & Media Limited. The strategic review was initiated on 31st October 2008 following the receipt of a number of unsolicited expressions of interest regarding INM’s shareholding in APN. While there was significant interest in the APN stake (and its individual divisions), the deteriorating state of credit markets made it difficult for interested parties to put together a fully-financed bid for APN at an appropriate value that would have been acceptable to both INM and to the other APN shareholders. INM purchased Provincial Newspapers Queensland – which subsequently became and was listed as APN – in 1988, and INM believes that APN has a unique and valuable collection of high-quality and market-leading publishing, radio and outdoor advertising assets.”

(Update: todays SMH has more here)

This is just the latest example of a major media asset being put on the market, then withdrawn. Reed Elsevier attempted to sell off its B2B arm Reed Business Information, but last month called off the sale after bids fell short.


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