News Corp to buy APN News & Media regional arm

APN News & Media has sold its Australian Regional Media division to News Corp for $36.6m, with the sale requiring APN shareholder and ACCC and FIRB approval.

APN logo

Bids for the regional business, which includes 12 daily newspapers and 60 community newspapers in Queensland and northern New South Wales, closed on Friday.

News Corp currently holds 14.9% in APN. Net proceeds from the sale will be used predominantly to pay down existing APN debt.

APN announced plans to sell off the struggling ARM in February.

Peter Cosgrove, chairman of APN, said in a statement: “The divestment of ARM is an historic day for the company as APN has been the custodian of some wonderful newspapers whose community roots go back over 150 years. We are now passing that ownership onto another media group with deep publishing experience across regional Australia.

“The future of APN looks bright. On the back of the NZME demerger that was overwhelmingly supported by our shareholders last week, we will be a more nimble media company purely focused on growing our media assets of radio and outdoor.”

The company also received approval from shareholders to move ahead with the demerger of NZME in New Zealand, with plans to bring it together with Fairfax’s New Zealand operations in a bid to create scale.

Ciaran Davis, CEO of APN, said the company was executing on a strategy to own and invest in its radio and outdoor divisions.

“Radio and outdoor are terrific mediums for advertisers. The sectors are growing, they are complementary, and they have both led innovation in the media industry across the digital sector,” he said.

News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller said: “We look forward to working with ARM team to secure the purchase of these strong newspaper brands in the growing regional centres in Queensland where we currently don’t have a presence.”


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