'Momentous' listing for NZME

Less than 1 per cent of NZME is currently owned by New Zealand shareholders, opening up big opportunity for local investors, CEO Michael Boggs says. Photo / Greg Bowker
Less than 1 per cent of NZME is currently owned by New Zealand shareholders, opening up big opportunity for local investors, CEO Michael Boggs says. Photo / Greg Bowker

"It's a momentous day," says NZME chief executive Michael Boggs. "For a number of reasons."

The market turmoil sparked by the Brexit has been unavoidable but Boggs says he doesn't think potential investors in NZME will see it as central to their decision making.
There will be some shareholder turnover in the coming days, he says.

Less than 1 per cent of NZME is currently owned by New Zealand shareholders so there was a huge opportunity for local investors to get involved, he says.

"That's a real opportunity for us to grow the New Zealand shareholder base."

For the past few days he has focused on educating shareholders about what NZME is and how it is different to its former parent company APN.

Boggs counts off about 18 well-attended investor meetings in Sydney and about half a dozen in Melbourne.

"If we'd had those discussions 18 months ago we'd have been talking about all the things we planned to do," he says.

At the time a lot of shareholders and market analysts thought that was good but were wanting to see things happen.

"So to be able to say that all those things we said we were going to do, we've done," was pleasing he said. "Whether that be achieving the financial performance or integrating the editorial and commercial teams and growing new revenue streams."

Now the story was very much about continuing to diversify those revenue streams while building on the "key pillars of print, radio and the e-commerce business, he says. "I think we have a good platform for those discussions now."

Some in the market will be focused on the proposed merger with Fairfax.

"Right at the moment there is not a lot more that we can say. We are in the process with the Commerce Commission."

The Commission has indicated it would target a conclusion by August 22, but that could change, Boggs said.

NZME owns the Herald and nzherald.co.nz as well as radio stations, and the e-commerce site GrabOne.

- NZ Herald

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