ACCC Steps in
December 22, the Macquarie Radio Network and the Fairfax Radio Network announced that they had agreed terms to merge.
Today the ACCC launched a review into the deal.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission coming into play is no great surprise. For the deal to go ahead it required both ACCC and shareholder approval.
The ACCC today has called for submissions from interested parties, which will stay open until early February. They are then expected to make a decision by March 5.
The planned merger will see Fairfax holding 54.5% in the listed MRN entity, and receiving $18m in cash from Macquarie. Macquarie Radio shareholders will hold 45.5% of the merged company.
The merged entity will remain listed on the ASX as a pure, albeit far larger, radio company.
As we already know Fairfax’s 96FM Perth is not part of the merged company, having been sold to ARN earlier.
From a structural perspective, Fairfax and Macquarie have entered an MIA; a merger implementation agreement. They are aiming to have it finalised in March, controlling 2GB and 2UE Sydney; 3AW and Magic Melbourne; 4BC and Magic Brisbane; and 6PR in Perth.