QMS Media to merge NZ division with MediaWorks

Outdoor operator QMS Media has proposed a merger of its NZ division with local digital, radio and TV business, MediaWorks.

The two businesses have entered a non-binding agreement, which could see them become the largest media group in New Zealand.

QMS Media New Zealand will fold its assets into MediaWorks

In an announcement on the ASX this morning, QMS said it planned  to merge its NZ out-of-home, digital media and production businesses into MediaWorks, in return for a non-controlling share of the new business.

According to New Zealand Herald, the new entity would be 60% owned by MediaWorks’ hedge fund owner Oaktree, and 40% by QMS Media.

The transaction is subject to final binding terms and conditions, but will be complete by quarter two of calendar year 2019, should it be approved.

According to QMS Media, the merged group will deliver ‘compelling value’ to advertisers through a broader sales network and cross-platform revenue synergies.

Jack Matthews, chairman of MediaWorks, said the merger represents a “significant investment” and “commitment” to New Zealand.

“Under Michael Anderson’s leadership MediaWorks has made great strides over the past two years. With this proposed merger, MediaWorks will be able to further enhance its ability to deliver high quality local content and more effective advertising solutions to our customers,” Matthews said.

Wayne Stevenson, chairman of QMS Media, added: “New Zealand is important to our business and we are excited about the potential opportunity to create a leading multi-media group that will transform the New Zealand advertising industry.”

The NZ business is led by Wayne Chapman.

The announcement is the third merger proposal to come from the outdoor advertising industry this year. Earlier this year, Australian businesses Ooh Media and APN Outdoor entered a bidding war for Adshel, which saw Ooh Media buy the business for $570m.

Shortly afterwards, French outdoor giant JCDecaux  bought APN Outdoor for $1.119b. As a result, the Adshel and APN Outdoor names will both be absorbed by Ooh Media and JC Decaux respectively. Locally, it was rumoured QMS Media was looking for a potential buyer.

The potential merger marks the end of a busy year for QMS Media, which promoted its chief sales officer, John O’Neill, to the role of Australian CEO, won its first airport contract in the Australian Capital Territory, acquired sports media company TGI to build out its QMS Sport offering.


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