Bauer Media Group today announced its intention to close its publishing business in New Zealand due to the severe economic impact of Covid-19.
The company publishes NZ Listener, Metro, Woman's Day, New Zealand Woman's Weekly, North and South and Next in this country.
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All New Zealand Bauer staff have been advised this morning that the business is no longer viable and that it intends to close.
EY has been appointed to work alongside Bauer New Zealand to facilitate an orderly wind-down of the business.
"This is a devastating blow for our committed and talented team who have worked tirelessly to inform and entertain New Zealanders, through some of the country's best-loved and most-read magazines," said Bauer ANZ chief executive Brendon Hill.
Hill said the aim was now to sell the business.
"An active search is underway to find buyers for our New Zealand assets, including our many iconic titles, however, so far an alternative owner has not been found."
Hill attributed the closure to the Government's decision to move to the Covid-19 level 4 restrictions.
"We understand the New Zealand Government's decision to move to Covid-19 Level 4, but it has put our business in an untenable position. Publishing in New Zealand is very dependent on advertising revenue and it is highly unlikely that demand will ever return to pre-crisis levels," he said.
Bauer Media Group staff will be paid their full redundancy and leave entitlements.
Bauer has been looking to exit the magazine business for some time and opened the door to potential buyers last year.
It has so far been unable to secure a buyer for the business.
The exit indicates that the owners were not willing to weather the short-term losses waiting for the impact of the virus to end.