MediaWorks and QMS confirm merger details

MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson.
MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson. Photo credit: MediaWorks

MediaWorks and outdoor advertising company QMS have confirmed the final terms of their planned merger.

On completion of the merger, the resulting company - which is keeping the MediaWorks name - will be the largest multimedia advertising group in the country.

Australia-based QMS will merge its New Zealand out-of-home, digital media and production businesses into MediaWorks and in return will receive a 40 percent shareholding in the expanded MediaWorks business. Oaktree Capital-managed funds will retain a majority 60 percent shareholding.

Completion of the merger is subject to finance approval and other customary conditions, including approval from the Overseas Investment Office. This is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2019.

QMS will hold two seats on the new board, and MediaWorks will have three.

"For QMS, this merger reinforces our prudent management of assets and realises value for shareholders from our investments in New Zealand," said QMS chairman Wayne Stevenson.

"The transaction will allow us to continue to create further opportunities to unlock value for shareholders and further accelerate our growth in a consolidating environment."

MediaWorks' Michael Anderson will continue as CEO of the combined group.

"Since announcing the proposal to merge, we have seen strong support from our clients who recognise the power of the integration we will now be able to provide across the four platforms.

"I am looking forward to bringing the businesses together, with our continued focus on local content and local client solutions. This partnership will really demonstrate the strength of a true multiplatform, local media company."

MediaWorks owns radio, TV and digital assets, including the Newshub website. The new entity will be the only New Zealand media company selling advertising on TV, radio, digital and outdoors.

QMS is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The New Zealand business, which has invested heavily in digital billboards, has operated as a wholly owned subsidiary until now.