Nine leaves printing with ACM sale

Australian Community Media & Printing has been bought from Nine by former Fairfax associate Antony Catalano, in conjunction with the Thorney Investment Group.

The former printing arm of Fairfax, which used its presses to print promotional items when they were not pumping out metro and community papers, was purchased for $115m from Nine, with an extra $10m in advertising deals attached.

Following the sale, a spokesperson from Nine confirmed that the company now owns no printing facilities of its own, less than 12 months after purchasing Fairfax.

Under the deal, which sees Catalano acquire some 160 regional mastheads, the company will continue to print the now-Nine owned metro papers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Australian Community Media & Printing will continue to share editorial with the Nine owned metro papers in the short term, as part of the deal.

The print arrangements following the title, and the future of the company’s presses are yet to be made clear, though Catalano has said he intends to grow the business.

Australian Printer tried to reach Catalano but could not get a response prior to deadline.

Some of the bigger titles included are the Newcastle Herald, The Examiner, The Border Mail, The Courier and Illawarra Mercury along with approximately 130 community-based websites. Australian Community Media & Printing's portfolio of agricultural publications includes The Land, Queensland Country Life, and Stock and Land.

Fairfax originally purchased ACM for $3.6bn in 2006, with the current sale representing a dramatic fall in value.

Catalano spun off and sold Domain as its CEO prior to the newspaper giant’s sale to Nine. After being made redundant by Fairfax, he went on to found a competing company, Metro Media Publishing, which Fairfax bought a 50 per cent stake in for $35m in 2011.


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