Nine Entertainment has announced the sale of its Australian Community Media (ACM) assets to former Domain CEO, Antony Catalano and Alex Waislitz of Thorney Investment Group.
Mr Catalano and Mr Waislitz acquired 170 regional and country mastheads including The Canberra Times, The Border Mail, The Courier Mail, The Land and Queensland Country Life.
The cash proceeds of the sale are estimated to be around $115m, of which $10m will be paid in 12 months, according to an announcement by the ASX.
As part of the agreement, Nine will also receive up to $10m of advertising on ACM properties for the next three years.
During the transitional period, Nine’s metropolitan publications (such as The Sydney Morning Herald) will also continue to share content with the sold publications.
Mr Catalano recently told The Age that he believed The Canberra Times should be producing its own political coverage with the titles needing someone who would be heavily invested.
In the company’s statement to the ASX Nine Chief Executive Officer, Hugh Marks said the sale of ACM corresponded with their future plans.
“The sale of ACM is aligned with our strategy to exit non-core businesses and to focus on Nine’s portfolio of high growth, digital assets,” he said.
“We will retain a commercial relationship with ACM and look forward to continuing to work with the business in areas where there are mutual benefits to both Nine and ACM.”
The sale is expected to be completed by 30 June 2019.