Stuff sold for $1 to CEO Sinead Boucher by Nine Entertainment

Daniel Fowler
May 27, 2020

One of New Zealand's largest media organizations is being sold for a single dollar to its chief executive, the owners announced yesterday.

Nine will also receive 25 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of Stuff Fibre sale, plus up to a further 75 per cent over 36 months if Stuff is able to raise funding.

The deal brings to an end the efforts of rival media company NZME to buy Stuff.

Boucher said she planned to develop "an ownership model which will give staff a shareholding stake in the business" adding that it would take time to work out how this would happen.

Nine said it would hold the Petone print plant site in Wellington and later lease it back to Stuff.

The New Zealand High Court last week declined an interim injunction sought by NZME that could have delayed the sale to Boucher.

The situation is so bad that many media companies have made a decision to shut down.

"Before we came into this Covid crisis Stuff was doing really well".

"Earlier this year, when planning some of those initiatives for the business, we asked Maori Affairs reporter Carmen Parahi to help us think of an appropriate phrase to sum up what we wanted to achieve".

Coronavirus job retention scheme extended by one month
Employees who are unable to work due to caring responsibilities resulting from the COVID-19 situation may also be furloughed. Employers will pay workers and reclaim the money from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at the end of April.

"We'll have to be really bold and inventive in what we do".

The executive team had already been looking at new initiatives while still owned by Nine.

Boucher couldn't rule out job cuts - this morning's Mediaworks announcement showed how tough the environment was at the moment.

Ending months of speculation around a potential takeover, Nine Entertainment has sold Stuff Limited, its New Zealand business, to a management buyout.

Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine stated that it was important for Stuff to have local ownership.

Some of the proceeds of Stuff's recent sales of its broadband business "will be used to assist Stuff to operate as it settles into its new ownership structure".

"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders", Boucher said in a statement.

"It is great to take control of our own future with the move to local ownership and the opportunity to build further on the trust of New Zealanders, who turn to us for local and national news and entertainment every day", she said.

Australian news agency Australian Associated Press said in March it would shut its news production and sub-editing businesses from June, while Bauer Media also announced closures of its New Zealand operations.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article