APN News and Media has gone into a trading halt as it prepares an announcement about NZME, its New Zealand arm.
“The trading halt is requested pending the release of an announcement concerning a potential material transaction by APN in relation to APN’s New Zealand business, NZME,” APN said in a statement to the ASX.
The NZME business includes the flagship New Zealand Herald, radio stations and digital assets.
The Australian newspaper reported APN was planning a $200 million capital raising in conjunction with a demerger of the New Zealand assets.
APN, which in February posted a $10.2 million loss for the year, has said it wants to divest its Australian newspaper assets, a network of regional daily and community titles in northern NSW and Queensland.
In February, APN said 2015 was a year of significant transformation for NZME.
“With an experienced management team, the business is in a stronger position to address the decline in publishing revenues and replace them with more sustainable revenues in traditional and digital advertising, with new revenue streams from transaction and experiential sources,” said CEO Ciaran Davis.
He ruled out an IPO for NZME.
“APN remains determined to ensure NZME is structured and funded correctly to capitalise further on changes it is making and the unique position it holds in New Zealand media,” he said.
“However, there is a need to prioritise APN’s strategic investments and focus on assets that will deliver the greatest shareholder return.”
Davis said APN was actively considering its options for the business and would provide an update to shareholders at the AGM in May.