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Women's Weekly publisher sold for a song to private equity firm


Australia’s biggest magazine publisher has been sold to a Sydney-based private equity firm.

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Bauer Media Australia, the publisher of Woman’s Day, New Idea and Women’s Weekly, has been sold to Mercury Capital.

The purchase includes the Pacific Magazines titles Bauer acquired from Seven West Media earlier this year for $40 million, as well as Bauer’s New Zealand mastheads.

A purchase price was not disclosed and the company declined to comment on a report in the Australian Financial Review that it was for “less than $50 million”.

“We have been proud to be the custodian of these iconic titles in Australia,” said Veit Dengler, chief operating officer of the Germany-based Bauer Media Group.

“I am confident that under Mercury’s ownership they will continue to thrive.”

Bauer Media ANZ chief executive Brendon Hill said the change of ownership “signals an exciting new chapter for the business”, giving it “increased flexibility to diversify revenue streams and grow and innovate across our multi-platform offerings”.

The sale involved 43 brands that reached six in 10 Australian women each month, a print readership of 6.8 million a year and social connections to more than 30.5 million, the company said.

“Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have seen significant growth in subscriptions and digital audiences across our food, home, youth and fashion brands,” Mr Hill said.

Other titles in the sale include TV Week, Elle, Gourmet Traveller, Better Homes and Gardens, Empire and OK!

Bauer Media closed its New Zealand operations in April, shutting titles including the Listener, which was founded in 1939, as well as North & South and Woman’s Day.

The sale is subject to regulatory approval, with the transaction expected to complete in mid-July.

A new brand for the company will be announced in coming months.



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