Stuff CEO buys NZ media company for 61cents

Stuff CEO buys NZ media company from Australia's Nine for 61 cents

Representative image. (iStock photo)

The chief executive of New Zealand media Stuff said on Monday she bought the company from Australian broadcaster Nine Entertainment Holdings Ltd for NZ$1 (61 cents) to maintain local ownership.

Sinead Boucher said in a statement the move would ensure "a sustainable future for local journalism" and that staff would take a "direct stake in the business as shareholders".

Stuff, owner of popular websites and newspapers, says that with 900 staff it employs more journalists than any other media outlet in New Zealand.

The sale comes amid a sharp drop in advertising revenue that has caused job losses across the media industry and forced some companies to shut down operations.

Australian news agency Australian Associated Press said in March it would shut its news production and sub-editing businesses from June, while Bauer Media also announced closures of its New Zealand operations.

The sale also comes after Nine rejected an offer from NZME , New Zealand's biggest media company, to buy Stuff for a nominal sum.

Nine said it would hold the Petone print plant site in Wellington and later lease it back to Stuff. It would also take a hit of A$40 million to A$45 million ($26 million to $29 million) in its full-year results from the sale.

"We have always said that we believe that it was important for Stuff to have local ownership and it is our firm view that this is the best outcome for competition and consumers in New Zealand," Nine CEO Hugh Marks said in a statement.

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