Bauer reboots NZ printing at Webstar
Newly acquired publishing giant Bauer Media is printing magazines again in New Zealand, with the presses at Webstar NZ rolling once more, following a near four-month hiatus from its biggest customer.
Bauer New Zealand abruptly ceased trading on 2 April, citing the government's Level 4 lockdown restrictions. It published one in every two magazines in New Zealand. The whole Bauer ANZ business was then sold to Mercury Capital for a fraction of the $525m Bauer paid for it five years ago. Mercury Capital also owns the majority of Webstar NZ.
However, its Kiwi magazine titles Woman's Day, New Zealand Woman's Weekly, and The Australian Women's Weekly NZ, Your Home & Garden, the NZ Listener and Air New Zealand's magazine Kia Ora are all now back in production.
Of the other titles, Mercury Capital sold North and South and Metro to independent publishers, which have said they will resume publication "as soon as possible". Remaining brands Next, Taste, Fashion Quarterly, Home and Simply You are “being assessed”.
The Bauer New Zealand business will be a much slimmer version under its new owners, with around 40 editorial and sales staff. The previous company had 237 staff on its books.
Brendan Hill, CEO of Bauer ANZ said, “The return of a New Zealand operation is a green shoot for our staff, brands and readers. The New Zealand market is very different to Australia at this point in time with people back in the office, a more promising advertising market, and many Kiwis enjoying domestic travel. The easing of restrictions has meant we have been able to bring back around 40 editorial and advertising staff, and much-loved titles which is fantastic. As conditions improve, we hope to continue to expand operations there.”