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New Zealand Herald publisher APN News and Media said it could potentially sell 60 per cent of its New Zealand operation, according to offer documents for a note issue.
Sydney-based APN said this week that it was considering strategic options for its New Zealand business, which also comprises several other newspapers, The Radio Network and the online bargain business GrabOne.
"The potential New Zealand transaction is one of several opportunities that we are considering and is dependent on market conditions and a satisfactory valuation of APN NZ, amongst other factors," it said in today's statement. At this stage, it was uncertain as whether APN would proceed with the sale.
"If we decide to proceed with the potential NZ transaction, our ownership interest in APN NZ may be reduced by approximately 60 per cent," it said.
The offering would be based on a number of factors, including market conditions at the time of any sale, it said.
The potential New Zealand transaction assumed in the pro forma financial information was based on the carrying value of the net assets of APN NZ, not the fair value of that business.
"On this basis, pro forma gross proceeds to APN from the potential New Zealand transaction would be A$308 million," it said.
APN said proceeds from the potential transaction would be used to reduce debt.
In today's announcement, APN said it planned to raise US$250 million from a note issue. The net proceeds of the offering will be used to repay APN's existing indebtedness.
"The proposed issue of notes in the US market would enhance the flexibility we achieved in the recent refinancing, and extend our debt maturities," chief executive Michael Miller said.
By Jamie Gray, APNZ business reporter