Nine Entertainment has commented on speculation in the media regarding merger discussions with Southern Cross Media, according to a statement on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Nine confirmed that “from time to time over the past few years there have been discussions with Southern Cross Media and various commercial and broader business transactions”.
“Nine Entertainment Co and Southern Cross Media have not reached any agreement on any transaction. Should an agreement be reached at any time, NEC will make an appropriate announcement to the market in accordance with its disclosure obligations.”
Southern Cross Media has also noted on ASX that despite The Australian’s report entitled ‘Nine Entertainment, Southern Cross Austereo in merger talks’, “the company has not received or made any merger proposal”.
The Oz reported that the two companies have held direct negotiations towards a $2.2 billion merger that does not require changes to media ownership laws. While a full merger would breach the population reach as it would stretch Nine’s licence area to over 75 per cent of the country, advisers believe the deal could unfold as a two-step acquisition, the paper reports.
Per reports, Nine would buy Southern Cross’s metropolitan radio assets and stick its remaining regional assets in a holding entity, where they would sit until Turnbull and his government shake up the law to allow such a move.
If, as expected the government scraps the reach rule, which blocks the merging of metropolitan and regional TV networks, then Nine could then get full control of TV assets under conditions precedent in the deal.
Combined radio and television resources would allow for an abundance of cross promotion of programming and the use of talent across both media. Talks have been held sporadically between the two sides since early 2013, when the companies abandoned a secret $4 billion merger deal.
But merger talks have apparently been ongoing since before the departure of Nine chief exec David Gyngell, who this week was replaced by former Nine non-exec director Hugh Marks.
Reports coming out of Fairfax suggest takeover talks between Nine and Southern Cross have stalled in the past fortnight as the price of the latter spiked.
In a very ‘Who Weekly’ fashion, The Oz claims that sources close to the negotiations have revealed that contrasting views on the value of each company and their respective earning prospects have proved to be the biggest roadblock to signing on a dotted line.
“This is a 50-50 chance,” a party to the deal told The Australian.
It comes after disappointing radio ratings for 2DayFM this week, with Southern Cross Austereo admitting it got it wrong with 2DayFM breakfast, hence the added urgency to the talks.
Asked by Fairfax if talks were closing on a takeover agreement, Southern Cross chairman Peter Bush said it was “just one of the myriad things out there”.
“Look, potentially, this has been going round and round and round and under the current media laws and everything else, I don’t know whether the Nine board or shareholders have got an appetite for radio I don’t know whether our shareholders have got an appetite for free- to-air TV.”
Coca-Cola Australia has rolled out its new campaign ‘Turn Up Your Break’. The campaign will be led by a TVC that encourages people to truly pause with a Coke on their break so they can walk away feeling refreshed and uplifted. The TVC features two busy chefs stepping outside for a break, the bustling kitchen […]
Nova 919’s Ben & Liam breakfast show announced that they’ll be throwing their support behind and raising awareness for a cause very close to their hearts, mental health. On Monday 21 June Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton will be locked in a purpose-built glass structure, in the middle of Rundle Mall, for an entire week […]
TRENDii has announced TRENDii Ads, a new contextual advertising solution that leverages content and context to promote eCommerce products at scale around the world. TRENDii Ads is user privacy friendly and offers a new way for businesses and brands to target consumers at the moment that they are most inspired to shop. “We believe good […]
ARN and The New York Times have reached an agreement for ARN to become the advertising sales representative for The New York Times’s podcast portfolio in Australia. The deal will enable Australian brands to connect with Australian listeners to The New York Times’s most popular podcasts, such as The Daily, Serial and This American Life, […]
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]