Nine to sell former Fairfax sports event business to Ironman Group

Nine is to sell off part of its former Fairfax events and entertainment business as part of its latest restructure of the former publishing empire’s assets.

The division’s business and food assets which include the Night Noodle Markets, Good Food Month, The Australian Financial Review Business Summit and Women of Influence Awards, will move into the group’s publishing arm

The start of the Sydney City2Surf event

As part of these changes, Nine also confirmed it would no longer continue with some of its smaller sporting events and also close the group’s parenting shows.

The $31 million sale of the sports events business to The Ironman Group follows Nine selling the former Fairfax community media arm to a consortium led by Antony Catalano last month and will see “around half of the employees” within Nine’s division moving with the sale.

A Nine spokesperson was unable to give an exact number of staff that expect to move across to the Ironman group in the change or the job losses as a result of the sale and shutting down of the smaller events.

Ironman is a division of Chinese owned Wanda Sports Holdings company, which also owns Hoyts Cinemas. The group operates a global portfolio of events which in Australia includes the Blue Mountains ultra trail race and Noosa’s Runaway marathon.

Nine’s publications will continue to have an ongoing relationship with their respective events as naming partners.

“The Fairfax Media Events team are outstanding and have a reputation for delivering world-class events. Sydney and Melbourne are considered two of the world’s greatest cities and with the addition of these events, we now have a major presence in each with staff expertise that will allow for us to be forward thinking as we evolve and develop,” said Dave Beeche, Managing Director for The Ironman Group in Oceania.

“We look forward to integrating those involved with the events into our business as we continue to ensure our global community receives the life-changing race experiences that they have come to know and expect from us.” ­

Alex Parsons, acting managing director of Nine’s Events and Entertainment division, said: “Today’s announcement sees iconic events like The Sun-Herald City2Surf and The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon bought by an owner who is well placed to maximise the value of the business and help it grow into the future.

“The decision to put food and business within publishing helps to ensure popular events like Good Food Month and The Australian Financial Review Business Summit continue to be well placed to leverage the power of their associated editorial brands.”

Parsons, who was brought in to oversee the sale process, will complete the sale and related transactions in the coming weeks.


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