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NZME declines Adshel buyout option

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/11/2016 Pattrick Smellie

<span style="font-size:13px;">NZME will not take up an option to buy bus shelter ad business Adshel but has made a new submission over its planned merger with Fairfax NZ.</span> © Fiona Goodall/Getty Images NZME will not take up an option to buy bus shelter ad business Adshel but has made a new submission over its planned merger with Fairfax NZ. Auckland-based publisher NZME has turned down an option to buy the New Zealand arm of Australasian bus shelter advertising business Adshel.

In a statement to the NZX, NZME also confirmed it had made a new joint submission to the Commerce Commission with Fairfax NZ, arguing again the case for the proposed merger between the two news publishers, which the commission has provisionally declined.

The submission, which is not yet public, comes ahead of next month's three-day conference on the proposal.

NZME says the submission explains why the parties believe that the commission has failed to properly take into account the diversity of opinions that will continue if the merger went ahead.

Some 33 editors across NZME and Fairfax signed a joint letter, published at the weekend, urging the commission to reconsider and saying the regulator had failed to understand the new dynamics of the news industry. Another 10 former editors of titles in both stables have issued their own letter endorsing the commission's view.

NZME had an option to buy the New Zealand business of Adshel after its demerger from Sydney-based APN News & Media and APN's purchase of a remaining 50 per cent interest in the Australasian Adshel joint venture last October.

"On the basis of the information available to it, NZME has chosen not to exercise the option," the company said in a statement.

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