Shareholders of John Singleton’s Macquarie Radio Network (ASX:MRN) have approved a merger with Fairfax Media stations. MRN will acquire 100 per cent of the issued share capital of Fairfax Radio Network. Fairfax will receive an equalising cash payment of $18m based on the net debt positions of both companies. Fairfax will also be issued new MRN shares. They will control 54.5 per cent of shares on issue while existing MRN shareholders will retain the remaining 45.5 per cent. This deal will bring together the number one rated news-talk radio operations in both Sydney and Melbourne.
MRN Network executive chairman Russel Tate said the deal should have “absolutely” happened years ago. “The compelling economics of the deal have not been in doubt for a very, very long time and they have not changed much for 10 years but the main thing is, it looks like it will happen now,” he said. Mr. Tate advocated this deal to shareholders by underlining the potential growth in both sales and demographics. He said the deal would have “significant cost and revenue synergies from enhanced networking and sales opportunities for the combined entity's news talk and music stations.”
Shareholders voted almost unanimously in favour of the deal. Shares of MRN are up 5c, or 5 per cent, at $1.05 per share near closing hours today. MRN’s shares have retreated in the past 12 months, falling 3.67 per cent. Most of dip came recently. Shares of MRN are down 19.23 per cent so far this year.