New Zealand media giant NZME yesterday launched a symbolic NZ$1 (US$0.61) takeover bid for rival Stuff Ltd in the latest effort to consolidate the country’s news industry during the coronavirus-induced downturn.
However, Stuff’s Australian owner, Nine Entertainment Co, swiftly rebuffed the offer in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
“Whilst Nine confirms that it has had discussions with NZME regarding the acquisition of Stuff, Nine has notified NZME that it has terminated further engagement with NZME,” it said.
Photo: New Zealand Herald via AP
The bid reflected the difficulties facing the media in New Zealand, where the effects of COVID-19 have slashed revenues in a sector already struggling against the might of global Internet giants such as Facebook Inc and Google.
“NZME’s proposed acquisition of Stuff is important to the continued operation of a robust fourth estate and plurality of voice in this country,” NZME said in a statement.
NZME owns the New Zealand Herald and a string of radio stations, while its Australian-owned target operates the country’s most popular news Web site, stuff.co.nz, and newspapers such as Wellington’s the Dominion Post and Christchurch’s the Press.
The New Zealand Commerce Commission in 2017 rejected a merger proposal from the companies.
At the time, the watchdog said the plan would create a giant that would dominate New Zealand’s print and online news, presenting a “meaningful” risk to democracy.
NZME argued in Monday’s statement to the New Zealand stock exchange that its proposed takeover “will not substantially lessen competition in any market.”
“The New Zealand media sector is too small for the current number of quality participants and consolidation is urgent in the face of dramatically declining advertising revenue and current general economic conditions,” it said.
NZME last month announced 200 job cuts as a result of the virus-induced downturn.
Stuff and NZME have both asked staff to take pay cuts.
German magazine giant Bauer Media Group last month closed its New Zealand titles and cut 237 jobs, citing the “severe economic impact” of the pandemic.
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment
DIVERSIFICATION: Although COVID-19 would push more companies to produce in emerging markets, DBS said that it was unlikely that firms would totally leave China Geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions are expected to accelerate the migration of manufacturing out of China, as concerns about the risk of production concentrated in one country increase, S&P Global Ratings said. Although its economic expansion might be weaker than previous levels due to the accelerated relocation of manufacturing, China’s economic growth would still be stronger than that of most other economies, the ratings agency said. “While absolute growth rates will moderate, we believe China’s economic performance will continue to be a key sovereign credit support,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Tan Kim Eng (陳錦榮) said in a statement on Thursday. “Its growth
Taiwan’s corporate landscape has changed significantly over the past 20 years, with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) replacing Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) as the revenue leader, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) has emerged as the most profitable firm, a survey of Taiwan’s 50 largest companies published on Tuesday last week showed. The Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine survey ranked Taiwan’s 50 largest companies based on their revenue last year, and compared them with the results of a similar survey it conducted in 2000. Only 33 companies on the original list remained in this year’s rankings, the survey found, following two
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) yesterday announced that it would suspend guestroom operations and lay off related staffers from Monday, as regional border controls and travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. The partial shutdown would not affect the five-star hotel’s restaurants, bars, spa, and conference and banquet facilities, which this month have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, it said. “Mandarin Oriental Taipei will suspend all guestroom services from June 1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hotel said after four months of maintaining normal operations proved unsustainable. The change necessitates downsizing and the hotel is handling