An anonymous entity has expressed interest in buying Fairfax Media’s New Zealand business as the company pursues a merger with NZME.
Fairfax confirmed it received a letter from a third party who claimed it had a client interested in the New Zealand assets but made “no offer capable of acceptance”.
“Fairfax is not engaged in any discussions in relation to the letter,” according to a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
Conditions of its merger agreement with NZME prevents Fairfax from considering third party offers.
NZ Commerce Commission must decide on whether the merger between New Zealand’s two largest news media companies should go ahead, expected in March.
The commission this week held a public forum to discuss its concerns about the merger, which include reduced competition and plurality of voices.
Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood warned of an “end-game” for New Zealand newspapers if the deal was rejected during the forum.
Fairfax will take a 41 per cent stake of the merged entity and NZ$55m in cash if the merger is approved.
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