Nine Entertainment sells ‘birthplace of TV’ Willoughby site to property group for $147.5m

NineNine Entertainment has signed an agreement to sell its historic Willoughby home for $147.5m and plans to move to new modern facilities within five years.

The sale to the Hong Kong based Euro Properties is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval but is expected to be completed in two years, after which Nine will be able to remain on the site, under a lease, for up to a further three years, before re-locating to new premises.

Willoughby has been Nine’s home for all its life and was the site of Australia’s first television broadcast, which featured Bruce Gyngell, dad of current CEO David Gyngell.

Net cash proceeds after tax are expected to be around $135m, with a pre-tax annual costs of leasing the property expected to be $10m after the sale.

Simon Kelly, NEC CFO said, in a statement: “The move from the birthplace of Australian Free-to-Air television is a significant milestone for Nine.

“Our relocation to state of the art facilities will enable us to further optimise our operations as we evolve our business model in a digital world.

Kelly noted the sale of the land would also give the TV Network additional capital for investment.

“This sale frees up surplus capital which provides us with significant flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities whilst underpinning our program of increased shareholder returns through our previously announced on-market share buyback and enhanced dividend payout policy,” he said.

Nic Christensen 


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