NZME (ASX:NZM) - CEO, Michael Boggs
CEO, Michael Boggs
Source: StopPress
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  • New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZM) assures it is on track in pursuing a merger with industry competitor Stuff
  • Although NZM holds a much larger media presence than Stuff, a revised proposition to buy out the competitor would see the country’s government hold interest in the newly formed company
  • While talks with the government have been ‘encouraging,’ NZM posted a A$158 million loss on Tuesday
  • Shares in New Zealand Media and Entertainment have idled at 34 cents each on the Australian market since the start of this week.

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZM) has not lost sight on merging with industry competitor Stuff, even in the face of a A$158 million loss.

Referring to a challenging market, NZM management posted the 2019 roundup to the market on Tuesday.

Total operating revenue for the company dropped four per cent on the year and earnings before taxation dropped a further seven per cent.

Despite all this, the media conglomerate neighbouring Australia pushes on for a proposed merger with Stuff.

Stuff is owned by Australia’s Nine Entertainment, operating over 11 national newspapers and 34 community newspapers.

NZM has recently sought out the support of its Government in pursuing the merger with Stuff.

“…the media industry in New Zealand remains incredibly competitive and is significantly susceptible to the local impact of global players like Facebook and Google,” NZM Chief Executive Michael Boggs said on Tuesday.

“As a leading New Zealand media company, we are in the position of being able to continue to look for commercial opportunities that will support our commitment to lead the future of news and journalism in New Zealand. This includes exploring the potential opportunity for [NZM] to purchase Stuff.”

NZM was birthed in 2014 after a merger between APN News & Media’s New Zealand division and The Radio Network.

Today, NZM presides over 32 newspapers, nine radio networks, and a handful of websites over an estimated three million viewership.

This saga to merge with rival Stuff is NZM’s second attempt. The original bid failed after the Commerce Commission raised its concerns. This newer revised plan has allowed the conversation to stay alive.

If the merger succeeds, Stuff’s assets would develop into a new entity with the New Zealand Government holding a share in the company.

Michael Boggs says latest talks with Government have been encouraging — reiterating that his company is the ‘right owner’ for Stuff.

“NZ First has put their support in behind the proposal and we are absolutely delighted with the engagement we are having from Government.”

“No decisions have been made but we are encouraged by what we are hearing.”

Shares in New Zealand Media and Entertainment have idled at 34 cents each on the Australian market since the start of this week.

NZM by the numbers
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