Nine Entertainment has confirmed the sale of its Australian Community Media and Printing business (ACM) for $115 million.
170 regional and country newspapers will be purchased by former Domain Chief Executive Antony Catalano and Thorney Investment Group with the sale expected to be completed by June 30.
The cash sale is for $115 million with $10 million to be paid in 12 months time. Nine will also receive up to $10 million for advertising on ACM properties for a period of three years.
In the first half of 2019 ACM revenue fell 13 percent to $121.2 million and circulation falling 3 percent to $35.9 million. This bought total revenue down eight percent to $194.1 million.
Some of the publications that were bought include; The Canberra Times, the Newcastle Herald and Queensland Country Life, with Nine retaining publications such as; Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review but only for a ‘short transitional period.’
It is believed that these purchases come after the Nine and Fairfax merger that occurred last year.
This merge occurred in 2017/2018 after the Turnbull government abolished cross-media ownership laws which prevented media companies from owning more than two out of three platforms (TV, newspapers and radio).
CEO of Nine Hugh Marks believes this deal will allow Nine to focus more on its remaining assets.
“The sale of ACM is aligned with our strategy to exit non-core businesses and to focus on Nine’s portfolio of high-growth, digital assets,” he said.
It is believed the Nine is expected to move quickly on plans to acquire the remaining shares it doesn’t own in the radio network with Melbourne’s 3AW and 2GB.