Fairfax Media, the owner of Stuff in New Zealand, has announced it will merge with television company Nine in Australia.

The deal is currently subject to shareholder approvals, a process that would take several months to complete.

Upon completion of the deal, the combined entity will be called Nine.

Under the proposed transaction, Nine shareholders would own 51.1 per cent of the combined entity while Fairfax would own the remaining 48.9 per cent.


The combined business would be led by Nine's current chief executive Hugh Marks and chaired by Nine's Peter Costello.

In addition, three current Fairfax directors would be invited to join the board, sitting alongside two Nine directors.

The statement from the companies did not specify whether Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood would stay with the business or depart.

The statement said the merger is expected to deliver cost savings of at least AUS$50 million (NZ$54 million) within the next two years.

Marks said the merger between Nine and Fairfax would add "another dimension" to the offering, enabling the combined entity to reach more than half of Australia each day through television, online, print and radio.

"For our audiences and employees, this means we will continue to be able to invest in premium local content across news, sport, entertainment and lifestyle," Marks said.

"For our agency partners and advertisers, we will provide an expanded marketing platform with even greater advertising solutions underpinned by a significantly enhanced data proposition."

At this stage, it is unclear what impact the merger will have on Stuff in the local market. Comment was requested from Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher, but she referred the Herald to the Fairfax corporate affairs team.