Nine Entertainment has confirmed with shareholders that it has acquired a majority stake in automotive publisher CarAdvice for an undisclosed amount.
The terms of the deal include an equity injection of both cash and contra across Nine’s media assets, and also incorporate a path to 100 per cent ownership by Nine within three years.
CarAdvice will continue to produce content from its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth offices, and there will be no changes to its executive team, while four new seats will be added to the board for Nine’s nominated directors.
Alex Parsons, chief digital and marketing officer at Nine, said today that the deal sees the group’s digital business expand into one of Australia’s strongest advertising verticals, with substantial opportunities to grow the CarAdvice audience and develop multi-platform opportunities.
“We haven’t had a content presence in automotive for some time, and the category is a huge and fast-growing advertising category, and so we see it as very important for Nine’s growth, he told B&T.
“When we did our market research, we found CarAdvice came out on top – it’s a premium editorial-based new car content business.
“We now have access to a business that has achieved great growth over the past few years, so it puts us in a great position to enter the automotive content category and build on its success.”
CarAdvice managing director and CEO Andrew Beecher the acquisition is a launch pad for the automotive publisher’s next stage of growth.
“The lifeblood of any publisher is audience, and Nine’s extensive audiences and some of the aspects of the contra agreement really pump-primes our ability to continue to grow the brand,” he said.
“We’ve experienced explosive growth in video, and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet, so we think we can really leverage off Nine’s assets in the video and linear TV space, as well as the digital space, to offer our audience better opportunities to engage with that type of content.”
Nine previously held a 49 per cent stake in the leading auto classifieds website Carsales, but it was forced to sell it for $565 million to pay down debt in 2011, according to The Australian.
Nine also owned Wheels magazine before it was taken over by Bauer Media as part of the sale of ACP Magazines in 2012.