APN sale off the table, says key shareholder

THE immediate future of APN News and Media – one of the major publishers of newspapers in New Zealand and Australia – has been clarified.


Its 39.1 percent stakeholder, Independent News & Media (INM) has issued a statement saying it will retain its shareholding.


Last October, the company said it had had offers and, as a consequence, was  openly seeking expressions of interest for its Auckland and Brisbane-based operations.


In New Zealand, APN publishes the New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, The Aucklander, as well as nine regional newspapers, 40 local titles and magazines such as NZ Woman’s Weekly and The Listener. In Australia, APN publishes regional and local newspapers, including the Sunshine Coast Daily and the Queensland Times. The company, the largest media operator in New Zealand, also owns more than 120 radio stations there.


The APN statement said: “We note the comment by INM that there was significant interest in APN and its quality portfolio of media assets, and the fact that the process instituted by INM in October has been impacted by the difficult credit markets globally.”


The move had been the subject of speculation that the INM had received bids trying to cherry-pick the premium assets but the company had wanted to sell its shareholding as a total package. The European-based company has subsequently denied that it will try to sell assets in the Northern Hemisphere for a cash injection.


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