A Kiwi publisher has signalled his intention to make a play for Fairfax Media masthead The Australian Financial Review via a consortium of wealthy investors.
Todd Scott, a former TV presenter who owns New Zealand’s The National Business Review, told The Australian Financial Review he has gathered a group of wealthy backers who are keen to purchase the publication, should the merger of Nine and Fairfax eventuate.
Scott said the motivation of the consortium – which includes a billionaire – is to unite the AFR, NBR and a Japan affiliate to focus on the tradition of business news.
“We’re deadly serious about business news. It’s about doing a job that needs to be done,” he said.
Failing this, Scott said the consortium would look at buying Stuff – one of Fairfax’s Kiwi media assets – instead.
Nine declined to comment when contacted by B&T.
After clearing the ACCC hurdle last week, Nine’s focus is now on securing the support of Fairfax’s shareholders on Monday to get this year’s biggest media deal over the line.