Nine’s takeover of Macquarie Media was officially completed on Friday, with Nine now owning a 90 per cent stake in the media company.
In August this year, Nine announced to the ASX an offer to acquire the remaining shares in Macquarie Media, in which it inherited a majority shareholding following its merger with Fairfax Media in December 2018.
The offer valued Macquarie Media at $275.4 million and saw Nine paying $113.9 million for the remaining 45.5 per cent stake in the leading talk-radio business, which owns stations 2GB, 3AW, 4BC, 6PR and Macquarie Sports Radio.
This morning, Nine CEO Hugh Marks sent a note to all Macquarie employees on the “opportunity” ahead of the newly merged entity.
He said Nine is looking forward to the “potential that radio opens up for the wider Nine business”.
“We have a great opportunity to lead the news conversation in each city and better engage with our audiences – be they television viewers, print and online readers or now listeners via radio or online.”
He added: “We are confident that with the full backing of Nine we can continue to grow the radio business and will work to ensure that you have the support, infrastructure and clarity to be able to do what you do best.”
Marks also addressed the “weeks” of “uncertainty within the business” and thanked Macquarie employees for their “patience.”
He said: “We are working hard to align these two businesses to capitalise on the benefits of the transaction (such as aligning both sales teams, particularly from an agency perspective) but there are still some decisions, such as whether there will be relocations in some states, to be resolved.”
Marks said any decisions will continue to be communicated to Macquarie staff as they are made.
Any fears around job uncertainty within the Macquarie Media offices are not unfounded.
In late October, Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang was made redundant from his $800,000 a year role in preparation for Nine’s takeover, with Malone brought in as his replacement.
A week later Macquarie Media’s 3AW operations director Stephen Beers was also made redundant.
At the same time, it was revealed Macquarie Sports Radio’s talk shows will be paused from as executives review the current slate amid poor ratings.
Marks will be in the 2GB offices in Sydney today while also visiting 3AW offices in Melbourne on Wednesday to answer any questions and introduce Macquarie staff to Nine’s senior leadership team, including Tom Malone, Nine’s newly appointed MD of radio.