PMP cleared to buy APN's Manukau printing assets
Dec. 16 (BusinessDesk) - The Commerce Commission has cleared Australian-listed PMP to buy “certain heat set printing assets” of dual Australian and New Zealand-listed APN News & Media.
Commission chair Mark Berry said it is satisfied the acquisition won't have, or won't be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in the national heat set printing market.
APN closed its Manukau heat set printing division in November after a period of sustained losses, Berry said.
“APN was unable to dispose of the division as a going concern and, other than PMP, no party was interested in the printing assets. So the only alternative to PMP's acquisition was the exit of APN's heat set printing assets from the market.”
It's the first time the commission has considered a “failing firm” argument since releasing guidelines on such acquisitions in October 2009.
Shares in APN, which owns the New Zealand Herald and other newspapers and magazines in New Zealand, including The Listener, and The Radio Network, last traded in New Zealand at $2.51, near the bottom of their $2.30 to $3.23 range over the last year.
APN, which is 32%-owned by Dublin-based Independent News & Media which is 30%-owned by the O'Reilly family, has just sold $100 million of bonds maturing in March 2016 to New Zealand investors.
PMP, a printer and distributor operating in both Australia and New Zealand through subsidiaries such as Gordon & Gotch, last traded on the ASX at 88 Australian cents, near the top of its 50 cents to 90 cents 12-month range.