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Commission grants clearance for Are Media Limited to acquire Ovato Retail Distribution NZ Limited

The Commission has granted clearance for Are Media Limited to acquire 100% of the shares in Ovato Retail Distribution NZ Limited (ORD NZ).

Are Media Limited is the New Zealand subsidiary of Australian company Are Media Pty Limited (together, Are Media). It publishes a range of magazines for Australian and New Zealand audiences, including titles such as the ‘The New Zealand Listener’, ‘Your Home and Garden’, ‘Woman’s Day’ and ‘Woman’s Weekly’.

ORD NZ is currently New Zealand’s only major distributor of magazines to retailers such as supermarkets, service stations and bookstores. It distributes magazines for publishers such as Are Media and Stuff, and is ultimately owned by ASX-listed Ovato Limited (Ovato).

Commissioner Dr Derek Johnston said the Commission was satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.

“We recognise that the Proposed Acquisition will result in Are Media, a magazine publisher, owning the only retail magazine distributor in New Zealand. However, after careful consideration, including taking into account the financial position of Ovato, the Commission is satisfied that the Proposed Acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition when compared with the situation if the Proposed Acquisition does not proceed.”

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission’s case register in the near future.


We will give clearance to a proposed merger if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.
Further information explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on our website.

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