News Corp is set to take a 14.9 per cent stake in APN News and Media subject to regulatory approval, it has emerged.
Australia’s largest newspaper publisher is understood to be treating the acquisition in APN as an “investment”.
Approximately 30.8 percent of APN sold in total in a $300 million block trade handled by Credit Suisse, according to the Australian Financial Review.
News Corp said in a statement: “News Corp Australia will build its investment in APN News and Media Limited (“APN”) to a 14.99 per cent stake subject to regulatory approval.
“APN has a high quality portfolio of Australian and New Zealand radio and outdoor media assets and small regional print interests. It is led by a quality management team that has successfully driven improvements in the performance of the business.”
APN chief executive Michael Miller is well known to News, and well respected, having been the firm’s marketing director for seven years from 1997 to 2004 and more latterly NSW regional director.
He left News to take up the CEO role at APN in May 2013.
APN owns Australian Radio Network, which includes the Kiis network, Pure Gold and Sydney station The Edge 96.1. It also has 20 dailies and 80 other newspapers across Australia and NZ in its portfolio. Its publications include The New Zealand Herald.
In NZ, APN controls three national radio networks with NewsTalk ZB, The Hits and Coast and four additional major networks.
It also has an outdoor advertising business.