Bauer reviewing Pacific merger deal

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The mega-merger between the two biggest magazine publishers in the country may not go ahead after all, with Bauer reportedly looking to restructure the deal and slash the buy price.

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Two become one or not: Bauer and Pacific Magazines deal under question 

Just last week the ACCC gave the go-ahead for Bauer to buy Pacific Magazines in a $40m cash plus $6.6m in advertising deal. However, the coronavirus-driven plunge in the advertising market is causing Bauer to want to reduce the purchase price, according to some reports by as much as 50 per cent, to $20m.

Bauer currently has a 33 per cent share of the domestic magazine market, with Pacific sitting around 22 per cent. The ACCC said digital channels provided enough competition to enable the deal to go through.

Bauer titles are printed by Ovato, while Pacific Magazines are printed by rival IVE. Industry insiders say if the deal does go ahead Bauer, is likely to retain both printers in order to make sure it is enjoying a competitive price, and guarantee of supply.

Bauer is the former ACP business, now owned by the German publishing giant, while Pacific Magazines was owned by Rupert Murdoch until the 1990s when he spun it out to reduce debt. Its current owner Seven West Media is also aiming to reduce debt.

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