Fairfax Media acquires final 50 per cent of Metro Media

FairfaxFairfax Media has moved on the next stage of its acquisition spree by buying the final 50 per cent of the issued shares in Metro Media Publishing Holdings (MMPH).

MMPH was set up in 2010 by former sales and marketing director Anthony Catalano, and holds the majority interests in 15 weekly real estate and lifestyle-focused magazines and newspapers in Victoria as well as

Fairfax picked up 50 per cent of the publisher in 2011 for $35m, and has now paid with a combination of cash and Fairfax shares totalling $72m, including $18.5m in cash, to be issued post release of the Fairfax half-year 2015 results in mid February, for the other half of the business.

Fairfax CEO and managing director Grey Hywood said: “Domain is continuing its aggressive national expansion. The consolidation of the balance of the equity in MMPH simplifies the operations of our fast-growing property services businesses, which have more than $300m in real estate revenue.

“The consolidation enhances our rollout nationally of the agent equity model successfully pioneered by MMPH in Victoria.”

The acquisition follows on from Fairfax’s merger with Macquarie Radio Network, with the publisher taking a majority shareholding of 54.5 in a new enlarged listed entity in December.

The value of the shares to be issued is set at 78 cents per share which was the 45 day average of Fairfax shares up to December 31.



Catalano will continue in his role as CEO of the Domain Group and the operations of MMPH will fall under his responsibility in the consolidated group.

He has chosen to take his pay-out in Fairfax shares, with MMPH’s founding real estate agent shareholders each taking 65 per cent of their payout in Fairfax shares.

Hywood said: “MMPH reaches one million households in Melbourne and Geelong every week via The Weekly Review magazines and Star Weekly newspapers and operates Melbourne’s fastest growing property portal,

“Since we formed the MMPH joint venture in December 2011 EBTIDA has increase from $4m in FY12 to $14m in FY14 and is on target for strong growth in 2015.

“The consolidation of MMPH caps a series of significant developments for Domain in the past 12 months,” Hywood said.

“In December 2012, we acquired property data and mapping provider, Property Data Solutions, and in July 2014 we acquired leading Canberra-based online property portal, Allhomes.”

Miranda Ward


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