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Television New Zealand separation confirmed

15 October 2003 Media Statement

Television New Zealand separation confirmed


The formal separation of the transmission business of Television New Zealand Ltd will occur on 31 December 2003, following the satisfactory resolution of taxation issues, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Television New Zealand is a Crown-owned public broadcasting company responsible for delivering against its Charter while maintaining commercial viability. The transmission business will become a wholly state-owned enterprise, Transmission Holdings Ltd (THL) responsible for running a national and international transmission business.

The transmission business incorporates Broadcast Communications Limited (BCL) and TVNZ (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Steve Maharey said the separation is a positive step because it clarifies the differing objectives of the television and transmission businesses.

“Under the revised company structure TVNZ is freed up to focus on implementing its charter and cementing its role as the nation’s pre-eminent broadcaster. As a wholly separate company THL will be able to focus on generating profits from opportunities in both Australia and New Zealand.

“Officials working on the company separation have confirmed that there will be no Australian capital gains tax liability associated with the nominal change of ownership of THL’s subsidiary company, TVNZ (Australia) Pty Ltd.

“TVNZ’s last combined annual report, which was presented to Parliament today, confirms that both the broadcasting and transmission businesses have performed well over the past year:
- TVNZ has worked solidly to get a greater range of programming to air in line with its Charter obligations to meet New Zealand’s diverse viewing interests, has dominated ratings and has improved its financial result with record advertising revenue;
- Broadcast Communications Limited is becoming a major player in the New Zealand telecommunications industry through its broadband partnership with Telecom, while TVNZ (Australia) Pty Ltd’s is taking advantage of the rollout of digital terrestrial television in that country to considerably improve its revenues.

“Both companies have strong and viable futures as separate stand-alone businesses, operating with clear mandates,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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