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Nine’s Macquarie Media takeover bid is guaranteed as it attains 90%

Nine guaranteed its possession of Macquarie Media over the weekend, landing the 90% stake it needed in the broadcaster to pave the way for it to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares, after launching a takeover bid for the asset in August. 

Investor Mike Carnegie pushed the media company over the line, accepting the takeover bid of $1.46 per share for his 3.6% stake in the broadcaster, pushing Nine to a 92.8% holding.

Nine can now continue its plans for Macquarie Media after securing over 90%

Nine CEO Hugh Marks said in a statement he was very pleased with the result, and that it would help drive Nine to the next level of growth.

“We are very pleased to reach this milestone,” said Marks.

“We can now move on to working with the Macquarie team in further consolidating Nine’s position as the leading provider of news and current affairs content across all of the key platforms – television, digital, print and radio.

“We believe strongly in the power of the talk-radio network and the ability, dedication and professionalism of its people. Every day this team talk to and for the people of the communities they serve – pointing out wrongs, recognising the achievements and contributions of others, informing Australians and often leading the debate on issues of real importance to their audience.

“To the Macquarie team for now it is business as usual. As we move through the final stages of completion of the transaction, I look forward to working with the team. We will work to ensure they have the support, infrastructure and clarity to be able to do what they do best,” he concluded.

Nine inherited a majority shareholding in Macquarie Media, which owns Sydney and Melbourne’s most listened to radio stations 2GB and 3AW, in December 2018 as part of the Fairfax merger.

The takeover bid valued Macquarie Media at $275.4m and resulted in Nine paying $113.9m for the remaining 45.5% share in the business. Former adman John Singleton had the biggest slice of the pie at 32.4%, which he sold to Nine in September, while Carnegie was the next biggest holder. Controversial 2GB radio talent Alan Jones, who held approximately 1% of the business, is also believed to have accepted the bid from Nine.

Nine is funding the bid entirely with cash reserves and existing debt facilities, and predicts synergies of $10m from combining support and administrative functions of both Nine and Macquarie Media. The transaction will be completed towards the end of 2019.

Last week Nine sold its third Fairfax asset, passing Weatherzone off to US-based insights company DTN. It followed the sales of Fairfax’s events business and regional titles which went to Antony Catalano and Thorney Investment Group. Fairfax’s New Zealand based business, Stuff, is still being held for sale.

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