Nine launches takeover bid for 2GB and 3AW owner Macquarie Media

Nine has launched a bid to become the full owner of radio broadcaster Macquarie Media, posting a takeover offer to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning. Macquarie Media owns Sydney and Melbourne’s most listened to radio stations 2GB and 3AW.

The board of Macquarie Media has recommended acceptance of the $1.46 per share offer. Macquarie Media’s current share price is $1.74. The deal gives Macquarie Media an enterprise value of $275m.

Following its merger with Fairfax in December 2018, Nine became the majority shareholder in Macquarie Media, holding a 54.5% share, while former adman John Singleton owns 32.4% and investor Mark Carnegie 3.6%.

“The acquisition of Macquarie Media consolidates Nine’s position as the leading provider of news and current affairs content across all of the key platforms – television, digital, print and now radio,” said Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine.

“We are big believers in the power of Macquarie’s talk radio network and in its people. A team who together drive debate and speak up so often for so many Australians. We look forward to the future growth of the business with the full backing of Nine and to ensuring that the Macquarie Radio team have the support, infrastructure and clarity to be able to do what they do best.

“Together across our businesses we will be investing more than $400 million per year in providing Australians with premium news and editorial content. Entrenching Nine as the go-to place for all news needs for all Australians, across all platforms.”

Alongside 2GB and 3AW, Macquarie Media also owns 4BC, 6PR and Macquarie Sports Radio. 

The offer values Macquarie Media at $275.4m and will see Nine part with $113.9m for the remaining 45.5% share in the business. That figure is inclusive of Macquarie’s $22m debt.

According to Nine, the acquisition will be financed from cash reserves and existing debt facilities. Should it be accepted by Macquarie Media shareholders, the transaction will be completed by December 2019.

A letter from Macquarie Media’s independent directors, which was also posted to the ASX, said they unanimously accept the offer, in the absence of a ‘superior proposal’ and subject to an independent expert review.

Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate said himself, and directors Monique Anderson and Louise McCann, had carefully considered the terms and conditions after being presented with the indication of interest on Friday August 9, and unanimously recommended to shareholders that it be accepted.

Last week, Macquarie Media announced that its revenues had fallen to $132m for the year.



Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.