New Zealand Largest News Website Sold for Less Than US$1

Stuff sold for $1 to CEO Sinead Boucher by Nine Entertainment

One of New Zealand's largest media organizations will be sold for a single dollar to its chief executive, the owners announced Monday.

Direct proceeds from the sale will be NZ$1. Management buyouts occur in businesses and companies of any size and can pertain to any industry.

Stuff reports Nine will retain ownership of Stuff's Petone printing plant site and lease it back to the media compamy.

NZME had entered negotiations with Stuff's owner on 23 April and earlier earlier this month announced it wanted to buy Stuff for $1 and asking for urgent government legislation allowing it to skirt the need for Commerce Commission approval. This means that Ms Boucher will be taking over complete ownership of the business as it sets to return to a Kiwi ownership.

Nine expects to take a charge of $A40 million to $A45 million related to the sale in its full-year accounts.

Nine will also receive 25 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of Stuff Fibre sale, plus up to a further 75 per cent over 36 months if Stuff is able to raise funding.


Stuff sells newspapers like Wellington's Dominion Post and Christchurch Press and runs a website (stuff.co.nz) with an employee-base of almost 900.

"We have always said that we believe it is important for Stuff to have local ownership and it is our firm view that this is the best outcome for competition and consumers in New Zealand", says Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine.

"Like other New Zealand businesses we have been badly affected by Covid-19, and we still have a tough job in front of us to build the business back up to a position of strength", she said.

Nine said that Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher would take over the company, which operates New Zealand's most popular news website, stuff.co.nz, and titles such as Wellington's Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press.

"Before we came into this Covid crisis Stuff was doing really well". Besides this, media also has the significant role in supporting businesses to stay connected with their customers and its role now is beyond usual advertising and sponsorships. In the coming days when the role of media is likely to be of extreme importance, it will be interesting to gauge how Stuff works with staff, customers, and audiences from here on.

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