Ze Germans are coming. Nine Entertainment Network has sold ACP Media to privately-owned German publishing house Bauer for a reported $500 million.
The internal memo about the sale went out late last night and ACP chief executive Paul Dyzkeul was about to address the staff when we called. He says it's an "overwhelmingly positive" outcome for ACP as it removes the shackles of private equity ownership and puts it in the hands of a company that has a history of investing heavily in media brands.
It will also mean ACP's partnership with MSN NZ, which is still owned by Nine, is now not part of the deal, which could free the company up to do more of their own digital thing.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, "the sale is expected to close in the next four to eight weeks, with both parties declining to declare the purchase price."
Bauer is based in Hamburg and publishes titles including Closer, Grazia, Heat and Zoo in Britain and First for Women and Woman's World in the US.
ACP publishes about 85 audited titles, including The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day, North & South and Metro.
According to the Australian, Nine's owner, private equity firm CVC Asia Pacific, has been looking to "offload the publisher for more than a year in order to raise cash to pay down its debt, with $2.8 billion in senior debt needing to be repaid or refinanced by February".