The Bauer and Pac Mags saga has deepened amidst new revelations that Bauer stopped the use of freelance journalists and suspended staff expense claims days before the final completion of its Pacific Magazines buyout from Seven West Media, according to the SMH.
The cost-cutting measures coupled with the decision to close Bauer’s New Zealand arm and reports its bought EY onboard to review the business locally cast further doubt over whether Bauer will go ahead with the $40 Pac Mags deal.
Meanwhile, Bauer Media ANZ CEO Brendon Hill (pictured) has evaded scheduled media requests and has been silent on the state of the deal since the ACCC gave it the green light on March 26.
The deal was originally expected to be completed by April 9.
According to SMH, Seven sources say the deal is still going ahead and the contract means Bauer is unable to walk away or ask for a lower price, despite some suggestions that Pacific Magazines is now worth $20m amid the coronavirus crisis.
Some sources told the SMH that Bauer may be put into administration to avoid going ahead with the sale, or alternatively be forced to shut down titles across its magazine stable.
The completion of the sale is vital for Seven who is attempting to reduce a near billion debt pile.
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