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Nine (NEC) and Fairfax Media (FXJ) To Merge

Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) and Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) have announced that they are going to merge.

Nine is the owner of the 9 TV network and Fairfax owns the Australian Financial Review, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald among many other media assets such as its large stake in Domain Holdings Australia Ltd (ASX: DHG).

The merge will create Australia’s largest integrated media player and will enhance the position with agencies and advertisers according to the ASX release. One of the key points is that it will combine Nine and Fairfax’s capabilities to accelerate Domain’s growth.

The deal

After the merger Nine shareholders will have 51.1% of the combined entity and Fairfax shareholders will own 48.9%. The new business will be led by Nine’s current CEO Hugh Marks.

As part of the deal, Fairfax shareholders will get 0.3627 Nine shares for each Fairfax share held and $0.025 cash per share, which combined is a 21.9% premium to the Fairfax closing price yesterday.

Nine Chairman Peter Costello said: “The combination of our businesses and our people best positions us to deliver new opportunities and innovations for our shareholders, staff and all Australians in the years ahead.”

In response to this news, Fairfax shares are up 13%, Nine shares are down 8% and Domain shares are up 9%.

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