In a move that took international markets by surprise overnight, Australia’s Nine Entertainment announced a $3 billion takeover of Fairfax Media. The TV net will take a controlling 51.1% stake in the newly merged company, which will be renamed NEC, or Nine Entertainment Company.
The deal creates the country’s largest media company and means the Fairfax Media brand will be history. Read the details here. The takeover price marked a nearly 22% premium on Fairfax’s closing the previous day.
Nine’s Hugh Marks will be NEC’s chief executive, and Nine chairman will lead the new company’s board. Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood, will remain for about six months but will then exit the business.
In a memo to staff announcing the deal between the Sydney-based companies, Marks wrote, “At the end of this process, the business will be a media company of scale, depth of offering and digital capacity and opportunities like no other in the region.”
Nine operates Nine Network, while Fairfax owns newspapers and magazines and operates digital and syndication businesses.
Here’s the corporate memo in a tweet from Fairfax Media journalist Anna Prytz: