Mercury Capital has reignited talks to buy Bauer Media Australia following a difficult time for the publisher, as reported on the SMH.
It follows news from late January this year when Mercury binned its plans to buy Bauer following the ACCC’s concerns over the proposed sale of Pac Mags to Bauer Media.
At the time, Bauer ANZ CEO Brendon Hill confirmed to The Oz that Mercury abandon its plan to buy the struggling media company, citing that both companies agreed Bauer was the “best place to run the business” moving forward.
It was unclear whether Mercury’s decision to pull out of the sale is a result of the ACCC’s concerns over the merger of Bauer and Pac Mags.
Bauer Media has since shut its New Zealand arm and finally bought SWM’s Pacific Magazines.
According to the SMH, multiple industry sources said Mercury and Bauer have recommenced discussions of a sale, with sources previously suggesting a bid from Mercury was dependant on the deal between Bauer and Pac Mags going ahead.
It’s been reported global chief executive of Bauer Media, Yvonne Bauer, has been looking for an exit from Australian media for some time, and this could prove just the ticket.
She originally bought Austrlian Consolidtate Press from Nine Entertainment for $525m in 2012, while the AFR reported last November a significantly smaller $150m was on offer this time around.
The last eight years for Bauer have not been easy, yet with the impact of COVID-19, things have been dire the last few months.
Firstly, Bauer closed its New Zealand arm. Then, due to the impact of the virus in Australia, and the correlated decrease in advertising revenue, Bauer temporarily suspended the print publication of certain titles a proposed a business restructure. And, last Monday, Bauer continued its cost-cutting spree with 60 redundancies and a further 16 employees stood down.
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