Southern Cross Media confirms interest in New Zealand radio assets of NZME

A week after posting solid financial results, Southern Cross Media Group has confirmed speculation it is running its eye over the radio assets of NZME in New Zealand.

In a statement to the market, made after a report in The Australian, the TV and radio broadcaster said that it had expressed an interest in the radio assets.

NZME is also currently in discussions about a possible merger with Fairfax.

In the statement Southern Cross said its interest was provisional on the basis NZME’s radio assets could be separated from the rest of the business.

“Southern Cross Media Group Limited confirms, as reported this morning by The Australian, that it has expressed interest in potentially acquiring the New Zealand radio assets of NZME Limited provided those assets can be separated from NZME’s print business,” the statement said.

“SCA’s interest in NZME’s radio interests is consistent with SCA’s focus on operational effectiveness in its existing businesses and investing in new growth opportunities that leverage its expertise in audio and entertainment.

“NZME has declined to enter any discussions with SCA, citing the exclusivity provisions in NZME’s current merger agreements with Fairfax.”

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission is currently investigating the merger of NZME and Fairfax, with a determination expected to be handed down by March 15.

The commission has previously signalled it may block the move over concerns about media diversity.

NZME boasts eight radio networks across New Zealand including Newstalk, The Hits and Radio Hauraki.


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