Distressed New Zealand media giant Stuff Limited has been sold as part of a management buyout deal at a nominal price of NZ $ 1.00 (US $ 0.61), Australian owners said on Monday. group, Nine Entertainment.
Nine said Stuff’s CEO Sinead Boucher would take over the company, which operates New Zealand’s most popular news site, stuff.co.nz, and titles such as the Dominion Post of Wellington and the Christchurch Press.
“The sale of Stuff is expected to be completed by May 31,” Nine said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
Boucher, who joined the press as a journalist in 1993 and spent most of his career in the business, said it was “a new era” for Stuff.
“It’s great to take control of our own future with the move to local ownership and the opportunity to further build the confidence of New Zealanders, who turn to us for local and national news and entertainment every day” , she told stuff.co. .nz.
The dollar price reflects the plight of the media industry in New Zealand, where the impact of COVID-19 has reduced revenues already eroded by global Internet giants such as Facebook and Google.
Stuff’s main national rival, NZME, rejected his own dollar offer to the company earlier this month.
Both Stuff and NZME asked staff to cut wages due to the virus-induced slowdown, with NZME cutting 200 jobs.
The German giant of the magazine Bauer Media Group closed its New Zealand titles with the loss of 237 jobs last month, citing the “serious economic repercussions” of the pandemic.
Nine’s shares, which are rumored to have been unloading New Zealand assets for more than a year, rose 2.9% to 1.41 Australian dollars at the start of the ASX session.
Nine obtained Stuff by acquiring the Australian owner of the company, the newspaper group Fairfax Media, in late 2018.