PMP-IPMG merger delayed

The expected completion date of the mega merger between print giants PMP and IPMG has been delayed, the deal now pushed back to February 23 due to an extended review by the ACCC.

Despite majority shareholder approval of the deal – which saw more than 99 per cent vote in favour during PMP’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) – consumer watchdog the ACCC has indicated it requires extra time to finalise its public review.

“PMP indicated at its EGM on Friday 16 December 2016 that following discussions with the ACCC there may be a need for a short delay in completion to allow the ACCC merger review process further time to be completed,” PMP says.

“Subsequent to the EGM, PMP has undertaken not to complete the transaction before February 23 2017, and the ACCC has indicated that it will endeavour to complete its review by this time.”

At PMP’s EGM, 99.62 per cent of shareholders voted for the merger – a total of 197,461,460 votes – with only 0.17 per cent voting against it.

During the meeting, PMP chairman Matthew Bickford-Smith told investors the deal would deliver $40m in annualised cost savings for a one-off cash cost of $65m, enabling payback within 12-24 months.

PMP and IPMG attempted to join forces 15 years ago, however the deal was abandoned after the ACCC found the merger would substantially lessen competition and would see the combined entity own 75 per cent of the market.

The print and media industry today is a vastly different landscape than it was in 2001, with fellow print giants IVE and Opus now operating as major competitors to PMP and IPMG, and the online media channels taking huge market share.

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