Posts Tagged ‘Miller’

  • APN looks at offloading outdoor media

    APN News & Media may trade in its outdoor media stake in the local market in exchange for greater radio reach, with the company considering selling off its half-share in its outdoor advertising business in a bid to pay down debt.

    According to a report in The Australian Financial Review this week, the trans-Tasman media company is looking at a major restructure that could see it sell out of its Adshel and other outdoor advertising divisions in exchange for full control over its radio business.

    The move, which is one of several options being considered by APN’s new chief executive Michael Miller (pictured), is likely to see the company’s extensive print portfolio lose much of its large format production footprint.

    The company has been at pains to reduce its debt levels since February’s boardroom battle, which saw the sudden resignation of former CEO, Brett Chenoweth and former chairman, Peter Hunt along with five other directors.

    In late February, the company told investors it would continue with its debt reduction strategy by selling off assets. In a statement to shareholders, the company said:

    APN will reduce debt by a further $40-50 million in 2013. This will be delivered by organic earnings including the cost reduction program in publishing, as well as small asset and property sales.

    The company reduced its debt by $180m during 2012. This was achieved through asset sales, the formation of the APN Outdoor joint venture and a focus on cash management. Reducing APN’s debt levels is an ongoing objective.

    The announcement followed moves to reclaim cash with the proposed sell-off of its Christchurch, Oamaru and Wellington publishing businesses in NZ.

    In its financial year presentation to shareholders, the company said it would continue with its program in the NZ Media business, which included the proposed consolidation of printing operations to a single company owned plant.

    Earlier this year, the company posted a net loss of A$-456 million for the financial year ending 2012, a 13 per cent slump in revenue from the previous year.

    Although APN is considering offloading its outdoor media business – and large format printing capacity along with it – the company’s new chairman, Peter Cosgrove, is backing print.

    In April, he told investors that, despite poor results from its print media divisions, the company remained committed to its print media.

    In a statement, he said:

    “APN believes there is a strong future in regional newspapers to provide local news to local communities and our strategy will be clearly focused on meeting this need for our readers and advertisers.”