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The owners of one of the largest media company of the New Zealand announced on Monday (May 26, 2020) that they have sold their company to the Chief Executive of the same company for just $1 (1 dollar).

The organisation known as ‘Stuff ‘ prints many of the nation’s daily newspapers and also owns a popular site of the same name. The company employs about 900 staff among which 400 are the Journalists.

The company is owned by an Australian company ‘Nine Entertainment’ and was facing financial challenges even before the corona virus pandemic and had been advertising revenue plunge.

‘Nine Entertainment’ said in a statement to the Australian Stock Market that ‘Stuff ‘ would be sold to the CEO of the company ‘Sinead Boucher’ in a management buyout deal that would be completed by the end of May.

The CEO of Nine Entertainment , Hugh Marks said that they have always said that they believe it is important for Stuff to have local ownership and it is their firm view that this is the best outcome for competition and consumers in the country. 

Sinead Boucher said that she has been receiving positive feedback about the purchase and she is blown away by it. She also said that she is feeling happy, relieved and proud. It has been really intense couple of weeks getting to the finishing line, she added.

49 years old Boucher, began her career as a reporter in The Press newspaper in Christchurch and helped in leading  the company’s digital innovations. 

She said that the ownership is not a silver bullet to cure the issues that Stuff and other media companies are facing . She added that at this time she is not thinking to reduce the staff or to close the newspaper.

Boucher said that online readers are a major platform and she is thinking to increase revenue from there. Last month Stuff also set up an option for readers to donate money. 

She further said that she is purchasing this company through limited ability company and is working through the plans to transition the ownership by giving staff a direct stake as shareholders in the company.

This deal brings an end to the efforts of the rival media company NZME who is trying to buy Stuff.

Two two companies ended their discussions in the hands of the lawyers.The High Court declined an interim injunction last week which was sought by NZME that could have delayed the sale of the company to the Boucher.

Nine Entertainment said that according to the deal, It will retain its ownership of the Printing plant in Wellington and will lease it back to Stuff. The company Nine Entertainment will also get some profit from the recent sale of the company that is a internet provider company named ‘Stuff Fibre’.

Most of the media companies in New Zealand have been struggling since the pandemic. Stuff has temporarily cut the employee’s pay and NZME has announced plans to cut about 200 jobs.

A German company ‘Bauer Media’ closed its New Zealand’s operation and stopped publishing many of the country’s magazines last month only and broadcasters MediaWorks told to the staff that 130 positions would be cut. 

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