New Zealand’s media company Stuff was sold in a management buy-out deal for the symbolic fee of $1, the group’s Australian owners Nine Entertainment announced.
According to Nine Entertainment, Stuff CEO 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.
“The sale of Stuff is expected to (be) complete by May 31,” Nine said in a statement.
Boucher said it was “a new era” for Stuff. “It is great to take control of our own future with the move to local ownership and the opportunity to build further on the trust of New Zealanders, who turn to us for local and national news and entertainment every day,” she told.
Stuff’s main domestic rival, NZME, had its own one-dollar bid for the company rejected earlier this month.
Stuff and NZME have both asked staff to take pay cuts due to the virus-induced downturn, with NZME dismissed, 200 employees.
German magazine giant Bauer Media Group closed its New Zealand titles with the loss of 237 jobs last month, citing the “severe economic impact” of the pandemic.
Nine obtained Stuff when it acquired the company’s Australian owner, newspaper group Fairfax Media in late 2018.