Seven West rumoured to be considering a bid for Nine’s community media

Seven West is considering a bid for the former Fairfax local publishing division, Australian Community Media.

The Australian has reported that Seven West is looking at the business, along with News Corp, former Domain CEO, Anthony Catalano and a group of private equity funds.

Mumbrella understands Seven is not particularly interested in the business, however Nine’s advisers are trying to drum up interest in the group which reported a 9% revenue decline in 2018.

Both Seven and Nine declined to comment to Mumbrella on the claim.

The group, which consists of over 160 of the former Fairfax’s local and regional mastheads including The Canberra Times and Newcastle Herald, was flagged by Nine CEO Hugh Marks for divestment shortly after the companies merged last year.

Australian Community Media has seen savage cuts in recent years with the group slashing suburban titles in 2017 and a restructure of the business last year.

In Fairfax’s 2018 annual report, the division reported an EBITDA of 57.2m, down from 73.0m the year before.

The Australian’s report notes there is a possibility prospective bidders may walk away from the sale as Nine’s valuation of business is too high.


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