A massive New Zealand media business emerges from APN and Fairfax

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NZME Limited, the former APN newspaper business in New Zealand, and Australia’s Fairfax Media have formally signed an agreement to merge their assets in there.

The two have been exclusive talks since May.

The deal still needs approval from the New Zealand Commerce Commission, but NZME has agreed to acquire all of the shares in Fairfax NZ for NZ$55 million in cash plus shares equal to a 41% holding in NZME.

The combined businesses would have an audience reach of 3.7 million New Zealanders across print, digital and radio channels.

The new business would include the two biggest daily newspapers, the New Zealand Herald and the Dominion Post, and Stuff.co.nz, the number one local website which has grown 83% over the last four years.

Combined revenues of the business would be $A600 million.

APN has decided to focus on its Australian growth media assets of radio and outdoor.

(Disclosure: Allure Media, the publisher of Business Insider, is 100% owned by Fairfax Media.)