SYDNEY (AP) — Australian media companies Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media have announced plans to merge, with the new media giant to be known only as Nine.
Nine shareholders will own 51.1 per cent of the combined entity and Nine CEO Hugh Marks will lead the new company, the companies said Thursday. Fairfax shareholders will own the remaining 48.9 per cent of the company, which will become Australia’s largest media player.
The deal requires regulatory approvals, though Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed the plan.
“The arrival of all of the online news services has made the media so much more competitive than it used to be,” Turnbull said. “I think bringing them together enables two strong Australian brands, with great, long — very long — traditions, to be able to be more secure,” he said.
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The union representing Fairfax journalists urged Australia’s competition regulator to block the merger.
Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood issued a statement to staff confirming the new business will be branded “Nine.” He said there would be plenty of Fairfax Media “DNA” in the merged company.