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QMS and MediaWorks create NZ's largest multi-media business

ASX-listed out-of-home advertiser QMS Media will merge its New Zealand outdoor business with radio, TV and digital company MediaWorks to create "the largest multi-media group in New Zealand."

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 QMS Media digital screens at Britomart in Auckland.

The agreement, subject to regulatory approval and final binding terms, will establish a “transformational multi-media provider across four platforms, delivering the combined power of out-of-home, radio, TV and digital, with a strong localised presence and experienced leadership,” QMS told the ASX.

MediaWorks’ owner, US hedge fund Oaktree Capital, will take a 60 percent stake in the new company, with QMS Australia holding 40 percent, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

"The proposed merger would see QMS merge its NZ out-of-home, digital media and production businesses into MediaWorks and in return will receive a material but not controlling share of the company in the expanded MediaWorks business, with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P retaining a majority," QMS said.

“New Zealand is important to our business and we are excited about the potential opportunity to create a leading multi-media group that will transform the New Zealand advertising industry,” said QMS Media chairman Wayne Stevenson.

Jack Matthews, chairman of MediaWorks added: “With this proposed merger, MediaWorks will be able to further enhance its ability to deliver high quality local content and more effective advertising solutions to our customers.  It will represent a significant investment in and commitment to New Zealand.”

The deal, expected to take effect in the second quarter of 2019, continues this year’s resuffle in the booming OOH market, with French giant JCDecaux buying APN Outdoor, and market leader oOh!media acquiring street furniture business Adshel from Here, There & Everywhere (HT&E).

Last month, QMS completed a majority buyout of global sports media businesses TGI US, TGI Europe and Stellavista.