Nine and Fairfax merger officially completed

Hugh Marks

“Today the merger process will formally complete and we all become one company”

After months of due process the merger between Nine Entertainment co. and Fairfax Media is now complete and updated on the ASX. Nine CEO Hugh Marks put out this statement:

Dear Colleagues,

Today the merger process will formally complete and we all become one company – called Nine.  As we outlined on Monday, Nine will have four broad groups, Television, Stan, Publishing and Australian Community Media and Printing.

Nine is also now the majority shareholder in Domain and Macquarie Media.  Both these businesses will enhance our reach and profitability into the future.

Monday will be our first day and presents an opportunity to reset and chart our course as one business. In the media landscape, we become Australia’s largest locally owned media company, evolved from two of the great heritage brands, Fairfax and Nine, who have served our community with the best entertainment, content, sport and news journalism for decades.

Nine’s mission – to create great content, distribute it broadly and to engage both audiences and advertisers – will not change. But the breadth of our opportunity to do so will increase significantly through the addition of the mastheads, their substantial print and digital footprints, and the ability to work co-operatively with both Domain and Macquarie Media.

Great content means any number of things at Nine: it can be a TV show like The Block which draws millions of viewers every night and captures water cooler discussion, or it can be ground-breaking journalism such as Adele Ferguson’s reporting of banking malpractice that drives community discussion on both a national and local level and forces the sector to reform. It can be great entertainment content like Young Sheldon or Billions which is delivered to the device of the audience’s choosing on platforms like Channel 9, 9Now and Stan or can be a radio programs such as Neil Mitchell’s on 3AW which sets the agenda and drives debate across an entire city like Melbourne.

This is the very special opportunity in front of us.  To continue to create unique content – be it in the entertainment space or in our journalism – that audiences want. That there is an experience they value.  And by recognising success in Media comes not from one voice, but in fact from differentiated, high value content of appeal to many audiences.  For you as individuals I believe there are so many opportunities to have an impact in your career with us, in helping shape our shared future.

We are a business filled with passionate and driven people – especially when it comes to both the content and journalism we create. Regardless of what part of the business you work in, what you do is important and it matters to our business. In a world where audiences have abundant choice about the Media they engage with, and when, being not just good, but great at what you do matters more than ever.

Each part of this business, that is Nine, needs to be true to, and proud of its own brand. To stand for its audience. And to do so with its own clear identity and purpose.The Nine we come in to on Monday is the home of great Australian storytelling which engages millions of people every week and a business which collectively spends over $850m a year investing in Australian content.

This is something for each of us to be proud of. And again not because we are the same but because we can be different.

Today I want to thank each of you for your patience as we have worked through the merger process. I’m pleased to say we are days away from having completed the key parts of the synergy process and, from Monday, we move forward with the confidence that Nine is a stronger and more sustainable business, with a dramatically improved scale and business model.

I’m excited by the potential of what we can do together. I hope you are too.

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