APN sees growth in radio and outdoor. Plans to merge NZ newspapers with Fairfax

APN and Fairfax have confirmed NZ merger plans following yesterday’s AGM, with APN extending a halt in trading on the stock exchange.

“APN and Fairfax have entered into exclusive discussions regarding the potential merger of their respective New Zealand businesses,” the firms said in a statement.

CEO Ciaran Davis has addressed shareholders outlining APN’s focus and priorities should the demerger go ahead.

“My vision for APN is to become a growth‐oriented company with leading assets in radio and outdoor. 
The opportunities we have identified to position APN for further growth are underpinned by our evolving strategy.”
That is:

  • To grow our audience base enhancing our products, services and offering to deliver the best experience for audiences; 

  • To expand our digital and data capabilities to be able to compete for audience and advertiser revenues in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape; 

  • To diversify our revenues so we can continue to invest in our products and create a capital structure that provides value for our shareholders; and 

  • To optimise integration, identifying unique opportunities that drive new revenues and streamline cost structures. 

It’s hoped the merger will be completed by the end of the year.

“The combination of these two businesses would provide the necessary capability to continue investing in high-quality local news, sport and entertainment at a time when advertiser commercial investment continues to fragment across international media platforms that do not invest in local content,” Mr. Davis said.

However APN says it plans to demerge its NZME business, which includes the New Zealand Herald newspaper, irrespective of whether the merger with Fairfax goes ahead.

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