Just over a month after officially lodging a Commerce Commission application to acquire several magazine titles from APN, Bauer Media has confirmed that there will be job cuts as part of a restructuring process.
An early report by the National Business Review suggests that the media conglomerate will let as many as 30 people go next year.
When asked if there would be any job losses as part of the takeover, Bauer's chief executive Paul Dykzeul confirmed that there would be job cuts but he did not want to elaborate any further on the redundancies at this stage.
“Until the Commerce Commission makes a decision, there is no deal. And as a result, there’s nothing to comment on,” he said.
On 1 November, Bauer lodged an application with the Commerce Commission to acquire New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, Simply You, Simply You Living, NZ Listener and Crème from APN.
The Commerce Commission responded to this application on 15 November with a statement of preliminary issues that needed to be addressed before the deal could go forward.
Initially, the Commerce Commission intended to make a final decision by 13 December 2013, but that provisional date has now been postponed.
“We need to gather and assess further information before we make our decision, which has now been moved out to 31 January 2014,” says Commerce Commision media spokesperson Gordon Irving.
According to the 15 November statement from the Commerce Commision, the investigation is focused on “the prospect of the merger substantially [lessening] competition in the relevant markets.”
A full list of fair competition guidelines for mergers and acquisitions can be read here.
Regardless of whether the Commerce Commission okays the acquisition, it appears that Bauer has already made the decision to let some people go. Twitter commentary over the last few days suggests that Alison Mudford, deputy chief subeditor at the Listener, is among those who have not been rehired for 2014.