Australian Newsagency Blog

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Bauer Media for sale?

Mark Fletcher
January 23rd, 2020 · No Comments

Yesterday, The Australian reported that a proposed sale of Bauer Media has fallen through. Before it was put behind a paywall, I accessed the article:

Magazine issues ‘scupper Bauer Media sale’
Private equity firm Mercury Capital is understood to have walked away from its plan to buy Bauer Media.

The decision comes after the competition regulator stymied local magazine consolidation last month.

People familiar situation told The Australian on Wednesday that Mercury is no longer pursuing the deal, although it is unclear what the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s part has played in the decision.

Last month, the ACCC raised concerns over Bauer’s proposed $40m acquisition of Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines business, saying it could expose readers to higher prices or lower quality magazines.

The landmark deal to combine Australia’s largest magazine publishers would see competing titles Woman’s Day and New Idea, as well as Take Five and That’s Life, come under the same roof.

The ACCC’s concerns came on the same day that Seven West’s $64m takeover of Prime Media failed because of resistance from the regional TV broadcasters major shareholders, rival regional media players Antony Catalano and Bruce Gordon.

In a bid to salvage something from the deal, Kerry Stokes-controlled Seven West acquired a 14.9 per cent stake in affiliate partner Prime on the same day, December 19.

This follows a report in the Australian Financial Review from November

Private equity suitor likes the look of Bauer Media’s magazines
The surprise bid comes only three weeks after Bauer signed a $40 million deal to merge its local arm with long-time rival Pacific Magazines, owned by Seven West Media.

Private equity firm Mercury Capital is in advanced talks to buy Bauer Media’s Australian and New Zealand publishing business, which is home to magazines including The Australian Women’s Weekly and was once the backbone of the Packer family’s Australian Consolidated Press.

Street Talk can reveal Mercury Capital is seeking to win Bauer Media’s approval with a $150 million offer, which would end the German media company’s difficult seven-year stint in Australian publishing.

The surprise bid comes only three weeks after Bauer signed a $40 million deal to merge its local arm with long-time rival Pacific Magazines, owned by Seven West Media, in an effort to shore up its future. That deal is scheduled to complete before the end of this year.

Mercury Capital’s offer would value Bauer Media’s publishing business at about six-times annual earnings of $25 million, with the synergies expected to be “material”, lender sources told Street Talk.

Click on the link above for the full story.

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Category: Media disruption

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