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Nine to buy rest of $275m Macquarie Media



Nine CEO Hugh Marks is leading a buyout of Macquarie Media

News

By Loren Webb

Nine Entertainment is aiming to buy the 45.5 per cent of 2GB and 3AW owner Macquarie Media it does not already own.

Nine Entertainment looks set to take sole ownership of Macquarie Media with an offer that values the 2GB and 3AW talk radio owner at $275.4 million.

Macquarie’s board has approved Nine’s $1.46 per share all-cash offer for the remaining 45.5 per cent of the radio group, which also owns 4BC, 6PR and Macquarie Sports Radio.

Nine already owns 54.5 per cent of Macquarie Media following its merger with Sydney Morning Herald and The Age publisher Fairfax Media last year, and needs to reach 90 per cent shareholder approval for the deal to go through.

That could come from racing and media entrepreneur John Singleton’s 32.4 per cent stake, and investment banker Mark Carnegie’s 3.6 per cent.

“The acquisition of Macquarie Media consolidates Nine’s position as a supplier of news and current affairs content across all of our key platforms – television, digital, print and now radio,” Nine chief executive Hugh Marks said in a statement on Monday.

“We are investing more than $400 million per year providing premium news and editorial content, entrenching Nine as the go to place for all news needs, for all Australians.”

Mr Marks said bringing Macquarie Media in house would generate more than $10 million in annualised cost savings.

In a separate email to Nine staff, Mr Marks said the various parts of the business could collaborate despite the apparent disconnect between the conservative Alan Jones-employing 2GB and the more liberal-leaning outlets such as the SMH.

“While they are different brands, often speaking to different audiences, there are also clear opportunities for all of you to collaborate and make even better content when the story fits,” Mr Marks wrote.

“Or to draw upon the resources of your colleagues where that make sense.”

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