Nine looking at controlling stake in Macquarie Media

Assistant Editor

Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media announced their groundbreaking merger deal last week, which sees Macquarie Media’s suite of radio stations now fall under the combined entertainment portfolio.

Understandably, talk has turned to the implications for 2GB, 3AW, 6PR and 4BC, as well as the recently launched Macquarie Sports Radio.

Fairfax currently controls 54.5% of Macquarie Media, but The Australian understands that Nine Entertainment and Hugh Marks have approached veteran Australian entrepreneur John Singleton about the possibility of buying his minority interests in the radio network.

Singleton’s John Singleton Promotions has a 32.4% stake in Macquarie Media, while banker Mark Carnegie holds 7%.

Macquarie Media operator Russell Tate holds shares worth $1 million, 2GB presenter Alan Jones holds a stake worth $4 million and former exec Tim Hughes holds around $500,000 worth of shares.

Reports indicate that Hugh Marks has made contact with Monique Anderson, Singleton’s CEO and representative on the Macquarie board.

Nine Entertainment also held talks with Macquarie and Fairfax regarding a full takeover of the radio broadcaster in Q4 or 2017.

Singleton’s minorities were involved and were reportedly keen for a deal, but Nick Faloon‘s Fairfax was concerned the sale of Macquarie would impact the possibility of a future deal for the wider group.

A deal to purchase the stakes of Singleton and the other minority holders would be worth $138 million.

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