Pacific Magazines begins court proceedings against Bauer Media

Pacific Magazines is taking Bauer Media to court over the $40m acquisition of its business which was given the green light last month.

The takeover was scheduled to be completed on Thursday, with Seven West Media’s magazine arm now seeking support from the courts to ensure the deal goes ahead.

The Bauer Media and Pacific Magazines deal seems to have hit another hurdle

The acquisition was held in limbo until a decision was handed down by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) at the end of March, approving the deal and giving German-owned Bauer the go ahead to complete its purchase.

The case will be put before the NSW Supreme Court on April 26. Mumbrella understands it is being billed as a ‘normal commercial list proceeding’ to hold Bauer to the contract that was signed and is unconditional.

In an update to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today, Seven advised it has received an email from Bauer’s solicitors saying: “Bauer is aware of its obligations under the Sale of Business Agreement and, as you
know, has been actively engaged since October 2019 in preparing for completion”.

There have been rumblings that amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the economic downturn, Bauer Media was looking to amend the agreement and potentially pay less for Seven’s magazine assets.

In the time it took the ACCC to approve the deal, Bauer has undertaken a number of cost-cutting measures, including closing its entire New Zealand arm and cutting the use of all freelance journalists across its Australian business.

Mumbrella understands some parties are concerned that should Bauer Media choose to exit Australia, or be unable to continue business here, the deal would fall flat and Seven would be left without recourse.

Bauer Media is the publisher of the Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and Gourmet Traveller, among other titles. Pacific Magazines publishes Who, Better Homes & Gardens and Marie Claire.

Bauer Media has been approached for comment. A Seven spokesperson said the business is unable to comment on a matter that is before the courts.


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