German media giant buys ACP Media
ACP Media's New Zealand boss Paul Dykzeul says he hopes to expand the company's magazine portfolio after a German media conglomerate announced it was buying the company this morning.
Bauer Media Group will buy ACP's trans-Tasman businesses from Nine Entertainment for a confidential sum, which the Australian Financial Review has reported around A$500m ($643.6m).
Nine is in turn owned by private equity company CVC Asia Pacific Limited.
Dykzeul said ACP's New Zealand titles, such as Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, Next, Metro and North & South, would not see any immediate changes and the effect on management of the company would be "negligible".
"They are a very big publishing company all over the world and they've obviously had their very keen, beady eye on Australia and New Zealand," Dykzeul said.
The Bauer group, founded in 1875 and based in Hamburg, is run by 35-year-old heiress Yvonne Bauer and reports about €2 billion in annual sales.
Bauer owns 400 magazines, more than 100 websites and around 50 radio and television stations across 15 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, Russia and China.
Dykzeul said Bauer wouldn't be "flying in" executives to govern the company, but ACP would look at new opportunities including picking up the media conglomerate's international titles for distribution in New Zealand.
"They'll keep an eye on the business and if they think they're not being well run they'll change the people I guess, but they are being well run so I'm not envisaging too many changes."
He said Bauer was strong in the online market, which meant ACP's partnership with online content specialist MSN would need to be reviewed, as would all of the company's partnerships.
"I've wanted to do lots of new things which we haven't been able to do, so we're now in a position where we're able to start growing the business again and I'm very excited about that."
ACP Media's Australian chief executive Matthew Stanton said: "Being part of the Bauer Media Group provides ACP with a positive and clear future, under an owner who is focussed on magazines and who will support investment and growth in our business.
"This outcome provides a commitment for the long term for both our brands and our people."
The sale was expected to close in "the next four to eight weeks".
Nine Entertainment chief executive David Gyngell said the decision to sell ACP was not made lightly.
"On balance however, the sale provides NEC with an attractive all cash valuation and ACP with the benefits of being part of a global publisher organisation. This sale will also allow us to focus on our core television and growing digital and events businesses," Gyngell said.
The Australian Financial Review has quoted staff as being "excited" about the change of ownership and said media commentators had applauded the company for achieving a sale price of more than six times earnings for the business.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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