The Australian Associated Press has paused its layoffs following the closure of the business as potential buyers emerge.
As reported in The Australian, redundancies would be put on hold for at least two weeks as CEO Bruce Davidson discusses a potential acquisition from interested investors. Davidson noted, however, that he is simply entering discussions, and a buyout may not eventuate.
According to The Oz, sources familiar with the current situation said AAP is in the process of securing confidentially agreements, yet no bid has been made and conversations have not gone any further at this point to due diligence.
Davidson said the development of a potential acquisition was “not expected” yet AAP shareholders have asked him to enter into discussions with interested parties. Names of the interested parties were not disclosed due to confidentiality.
Sources told The Oz potential investors would most likely buy the business due to its public value, and not simply as a financial investment.
It is understood staff who have already taken redundancy will be given the option to stay employed by AAP.
AAP announced the closure of the AAP Newswire and the Pagemasters editorial production service earlier this month.
This decision was made due to the decline in the number of media companies subscribing to the news wire service in recent years.
In a press release sent by the AAP’s newswires service Medianet, the “unprecdented impact of digital platforms that take other people’s content and distribute it for free” is to blame for the closure.
The release said: [This] has led to too many companies choosing to no longer use AAP’s professional service. We have reached the point where it is no longer viable to continue.”
The decision to close the business is subject to completion of formal processes by the shareholders.
AAP is owned by Nine, News Corp, The West Australian and Australian Community Media.
News Corp, Nine and various other outlets will be making additional investment in their own news teams to replace some of the content they currently source from AAP.
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