Bauer scoops up Pacific Magazines from Seven West Media in a $40 million deal

Bauer acquires Pacific Magazines. Image, Getty.
  • Bauer Media has entered an agreement to acquire Pacific Magazines from Seven West Media.
  • Pacific Magazines includes a range of titles such as Better Homes and Gardens, Home Beautiful and Marie Claire.
  • With the acquisition, Bauer – which holds titles including Woman’s Day, TV Week, Empire and Gourmet Traveller – is set to have more than 50 magazine titles.

Bauer Media is adding to its media lineup.

The company has entered a deal to acquire Pacific Magazines from Seven West Media (SWM) for $40 million.

Pacific Magazines has a network of magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Home Beautiful, Marie Claire and Men’s Health. With the acquisition, these will head on over to Bauer, to join its array of magazines which includes Woman’s Day, TV Week, Empire, Gourmet Traveller and Harper’s Bazaar.

The acquisition beefs up Bauer’s collection of magazines to more than 50 titles across women’s entertainment and lifestyle, fashion, beauty and health as well as food and homes.

“We are delighted to be able to combine our talent and resources with one of our most admired and respected industry peers,” Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill said in a statement.

“More than ever, scale and superior content is emerging as the differentiator of success in publishing. This transaction will bring the Bauer and Pacific teams greater opportunities to innovate, create and collaborate – and continue to delight their audiences.”

According to Roy Morgan, more than 15 million Australians over the age of 14 read magazines in print or online in 2019, a 1.6% increase from the year before.

But Bauer’s print magazine titles have struggled in Australia. Bauer waved goodbye to Cleo Magazine in 2016 after 40 years in Australia and it shifted Dolly print magazine to digital.

In 2018, Bauer closed Cosmopolitan Australia. The same year, there was as a merger between the digital and print teams at Harper’s Bazaar, with 13 roles made redundant, AdNews reported.

As part of the deal, SWM and Bauer Media have made agreements on advertising spend, the ongoing production of Better Homes and Gardens television show and sharing lifestyle content under a long-term agreement. Plus SWM will get $6.6 million of advertising on Bauer Media assets over three years.

According to SWM, the funds will be used to help it pay down debt and focus on its growth strategy.

“The sale of Pacific Magazines is another major initiative aligned with our strategy to improve balance sheet flexibility and simplify the operating model to enable greater focus on growth initiatives,” SWM managing director and CEO James Warburton said in a statement.

“The team at Pacific have been at the forefront of our groups transformation and have done a tremendous job at repositioning their business, but there can be no doubt that there is a greater future within a larger scaled magazine group.”

Warburton has been on a strong path of restructuring since returning to Seven in August 2019, the Australian Financial Review reported, with plans to let go of staff, reduce the number of divisions and hire three new executives. He also axed current affairs show Sunday Night.

According to the AFR, Warburton has also emphasised the need for Seven to made changes to its programming such as targeting new demographics and improving the way it launches new shows.

The sale is due to be complete by end of 2019 or early 2020 if it’s approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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