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.
Subject to a positive shareholder vote (and subsequent court approval), the merger of Nine and Fairfax will be completed on Friday 7 December, with the first day of business as a combined group on Monday 10 December.