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German publisher Bauer sells Australia magazine business to Mercury Capital

[BENGALURU] German magazine and digital firm Bauer Media Group said on Wednesday its Australian arm that publishes titles, including the Australian Women's Weekly and ELLE Australia, would be acquired by private equity firm Mercury Capital.

The sale comes amid a sharp downturn in advertising revenue that has caused job losses across the media industry and forced some companies, including the Australian Associated Press (AAP), to shut down operations.

The sale ends a tough eight-year Australian stint for Bauer, which started with the company acquiring ACP Magazines from Nine Entertainment for A$525 million (S$504.7 million) in 2012.

Bauer or Mercury did not disclose the value of the deal, but reports suggest Bauer has sold the business for A$50 million.

The acquisition is due to be completed by July-end and includes all of Bauer Media Australia's titles, as well as Bauer's New Zealand mastheads, the company said in its statement.

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Reports of acquisition by Mercury Capital emerged in November last year, weeks after Bauer bought Seven West Media Ltd's Pacific Magazines for A$40 million.

Recently, Bauer itself laid off several staff, ceased printing of many titles in Australia and shut operations in New Zealand in April, where it published titles such as New Zealand Listener and the New Zealand Woman's Weekly.

Bauer and Mercury did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the impact of the sale on jobs and operations of the parties.

REUTERS

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