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Fairfax buys Text Media for $67.3 million

Friday, 03 October 2003
By Print21

The takeover will give Fairfax control of the Melbourne Herald, the Melbourne Weekly Magazine, Emerald Hill Times and the City Weekly.

The Fairfax offer is a fair price for all concerned, according to Fred Hilmer, CEO of Fairfax. “Text Media is a successful business built on quality publishing assets,” he said. “We are pleased to bring the Text stable of publications and businesses under the umbrella of our growing family of publications in Australia and New Zealand.

“We have a very high regards for the team that has run Text under the leadership of Eric Beecher, Diana Greeble and CEO Nick Chan, and look forward to working closely with management and staff to build further on the company’s strong foundations. Our acquisition of Text . . . . broadens and strengthens Fairfax’s position in the Melbourne suburban publishing business. It thereby enhances our footprint in Melbourne.”

Nick Chan is expected to stay with the company and continue running the operation under Fairfax.

Diana Greeble, chairperson of Text Media, said the offer is attractive to shareholders . . . . and includes a premium that recognises the strategic and franchise value of the businesses.

In addition to the suburban mastheads, Text Media also publishes a real estate publication in Melbourne, a book publishing busines and a custom publishing business, which includes a joint venture with Pacific Publications. Fairfax will conclude a separate agreement with Pacific Publications to continue the joint venture.

The Text Media takeover is the latest in a number of Fairfax acquisitions, the most notable being the $1.09 billion takeover of INL in New Zealand. It is part of a continuing consolidation in the local newspaper market that sees the major players rationalise their assets.

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