APN look set to exit NZME
APN News & Media CEO Ciaran Davis looks set to announce that the ‘on again/off again’ demerger of the New Zealand media assets is going to proceed.
APN will hold its Annual General Meeting on wednesday and Davis is tipped to confirm that the company will launch a capital raising and move to list NZME as it’s own entity on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
The move is reportedly designed to release funds from the New Zealand assets in order to reduce the debt burden that APN is under; net debt for APN is over $450m. It also means, in combination with APN exiting its Australian regional newspaper business, that APN will be virtually out of the newspaper game. This positions APN as a more nimble and focused business in preparation for consolidation in Australia as media ownership laws change.
NZME consists of a number of successful radio brands including ZM, Newstalk ZB, Coast and The Hits; along with the New Zealand Herald, and the Grab One daily deals business. The combined NZME entities are believed to be worth north of $200m.
NZME CEO Jane Hastings abruptly resigned two months ago to be replaced by the then CFO Michael Boggs.