Gadfly creditors to review Big Splash Media offer

Creditors of Gadfly Editorial Services, which rejected a $500,000 take-over offer by Big Splash Media last week, have been called to a meeting with the administrator to review the offer.

The meeting follows complaints made to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission by Big Splash Media and co-bidder Art & Australia magazine that the offer was never put to the creditors by administrator RMG Partners. Former Sydney Morning Herald editor in chief David Hickie is the biggest creditor, owed $1.5m.

Ian Purchas of RMG Partners sent a report to creditors recommending they approve a deed of company arrangement under which the firm would continue to trade under its existing management. The report claimed that the three titles produced by Gadfly – Australian Art Collector, Horse and Breeder and Luxury Travel – were worthless.

Big Splash Media publisher and managing director Peter Lynch told Mumbrella that creditors would be better off accepting his offer: $500,000 in cash and assurances that staff, among them 25 journalists, would be given first preference for jobs.

Lynch, who is the former group executive editor at SMH publisher Fairfax Media, has held a number of discussions with Hickie over the deal. He said: “I think David’s having trouble seeing the wood for the trees. I don’t want to sell the business off or to get rid of its people. I want to expand it.”

Big Splash, a specialist in custom, government and travel publishing, would make a good fit with Gadly, Lynch said.

Big Splash’s strategy is to “acquire good titles, take them online and keep the quality high,” he added.

Hickie was unavailable for comment.


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