MediaWeb receivership fast-forwards Intermedia move into New Zealand—UPDATED

(Original story: published 20 March 2014) The Intermedia Group, which owns over 70 media titles in Australia, has announced that it will release two business-to-business titles in the New Zealand market within the next few months.

The first publication, Hospitality Business, will cover topics related to bars, cafes, restaurants, motels, hotels, wineries, breweries and catering, while FMCG Business, the second title, will focus on the supermarket, grocery, route trade and manufacturing industries.

According to Intermedia’s New Zealand managing director Dale Spencer – who is also well known in the industry for having founded Media 360 – Intermedia will circulate 11 print editions of each publication over the course the year, send out a pair of weekly newsletters and provide daily online updates.

“The content will mostly feature local news that is relevant and interesting to this market and some Australian and overseas information,” he says.

Given that the Intermedia Group has been active in the Australian media sector since 1968 (initially as Grover Frost), it is curious that the organisation has only now decided to enter the New Zealand market. 

“The Intermedia Group has been looking at the New Zealand market for years, but did not believe that the opportunities that currently present themselves were as apparent. I met with Simon Grover [managing director in Australia] and Justin Etheridge [chief digital strategist] in January to discuss this partnership and am thrilled with the progress we have had so far,” says Spencer.

This move comes only a few weeks after it was confirmed that MediaWeb, which was previously active in both the FMCG and hospitality markets, went into receivership, with McDonald Vague appointed as receiver.

Although Spencer didn’t say that there was a correlation between the MediaWeb receivership and Intermedia’s decision to enter the market, he did admit that situation at MediaWeb influenced the timing of the move.

“If anything, it [the receivership]has brought our dates forward. We are launching Hospitality Business in May and FMCG Business in July.”

“[At this stage,] we are interviewing editors and sales people, and will make announcements on these appointments shortly.”

Since this move could potentially impact the value of some of MediaWeb’s titles, StopPress contacted McDonald Vague’s director Jared Booth to ask which of the struggling company’s brands had already been sold, but he declined to comment.

UPDATE (4.22pm on 4 April):

It has been confirmed that MediaWeb’s assets – including FMCG, Admedia, Grill and Food Service, Hospitality, Just Good Business, Local Government, NZ Career and Training Guide, NZ Management, OnFilm, Travel Trade, Wine Technology and Top 200 – are currently undergoing a tender process.

The receivers, Tony Maginness and Peri Finnigan of McDonald Vague, will be inviting tenders from interested parties until noon on Thursday, 10 April. Inspections of the various media properties can be made by arrangement with Jared Booth, director of McDonald Vague.

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