TAB New Zealand to acquire SENZ in 2024 after NZ$4 million deal


Craig Coleman: “This transaction removes start-up losses from our operating performance”

TAB New Zealand has entered a non-binding agreement with Sports Entertainment Group to acquire SEN NZ’s digital and audio businesses – including the SENZ brand, app and website, and its network of 28 radio stations across 29 frequencies.

The move comes just over two years since SENZ hit the airwaves.

The deal will cost TAB NZ$4 million cash, and the transaction is also paired with a content supply partnership. The transaction is expected to see an operational handover commence on February 1, 2024, subject to completion of legal agreements.

SEG’s Australian business, SEN, will make all SEN programming available on SENZ frequencies. SEN NZ will remain the commercial arm for SENZ Digital & Audio, sourcing third-party advertising revenue for the business under new ownership. 

SEG will earn commission income on advertising revenue it sources.

SEG chairman Craig Coleman said of the transaction: “We are delighted to have helped shape a business with the New Zealand sports fan at its centre. The transitioning to the new ownership structure and supporting commercial agreement enables the SENZ Digital & Audio to become part of a broader, integrated and improved sports and wagering offering.

“Importantly, this transaction removes start-up losses from our operating performance. In FY23, our New Zealand business represented a negative $2.4 million drag on underlying EBITDA. SEG continues to focus on reducing net debt in FY24. This transaction aligns with this objective in addition to several other proposals and initiatives under consideration.”

The sale comes as Craig Hutchison, SEN’s CEO and chief motivator at Sports Entertainment Group, has been the subject of ongoing examination of the group’s business model. In September, the Herald Sun ran an article headlined: Craig Hutchison’s business woes after $9.2m loss.

In response, Hutchison told The Sounding Board podcast that “We made $4.8m profit EBITDA. There were some markdowns and impairment of assets that created a paper loss. We have made money every year. We haven’t had a year where we haven’t made money. Would we have liked to have made more? Yes. It is my job to make more for our shareholders per annum? Yes.”.

See Also: Hutchy explains what is really going on at SEN after Herald Sun report

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