BREAKING NEWS: Fairfax & Nine Merge Into $4.2B Giant
Set to significantly shake up Australia’s media landscape, Nine Entertainment and Fairfax have announced their planned merger – resulting in a $4.2 billion broadcast and publishing powerhouse.
Considered the largest deal since the nation’s media reform, the merger is forecast to deliver annual savings of $50 million, and is expected to close by year end.
Nine Chairman, Peter Costello, is set to chair the new media giant, with Nine CEO, Hugh Marks, and three Fairfax directors invited to join the company’s board.
Announced today, the deal will see Nine shareholders own 51.1% of the merged entity, with Fairfax shareholders retaining 48.9%.
The merged company’s assets will include Nine’s free-to-air TV network, its subsidiary businesses (e.g. Domain, Stan), plus Fairfax’s media mastheads and radio offerings via Macquarie Media.
The new media powerhouse is valued around $4.2 billion, and is said to combat Fairfax newspapers’ declining revenues, whilst diversifying Nine’s media stable.
Company Chair, Peter Costello, asserts the merger will ensure both staff and shareholders continue to receive returns for many years ahead.
The media industry has responded with mixed responses, as many Fairfax journalists take to social media to express their disdain, asserting the 150-year old brand will now cease to exist.
Many have labelled the merger a ‘Nine takeover’.
Investors have responded differently, with shares in Nine Entertainment Co plummeting almost 8% to $2.32. By contrast, shares in Fairfax Media have soared 12.34% to 86 cents.
Nine subsidiary, Domain Holdings, has seen its share price jump 9.12% to $3.35 following the news.
So after 150-plus years this is all we get: “I would like to thank everyone for their contribution to Fairfax” https://t.co/GHjXMRTX2f
— Kate McClymont (@Kate_McClymont) 25 July 2018
“The merged company will be called Nine”. I’ve spent most of my working life at Fairfax. I want to cry.
— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) 25 July 2018
Understand people’s concerns but being part of a more diverse group of brands could be a good thing for SMH, Age journalism. The pressure for scale (ie clicks) becomes a lot less acute. #fairfax
— Conal Hanna (@conalhanna) 25 July 2018
This seems to be an important aspect of the merger – Nine gets to “review” the new business “to align with its strategic objectives”. pic.twitter.com/FZAFjvPm6q
— Helen Davidson (@heldavidson) 25 July 2018