The sale of MediaWorks' TV business to US firm Discovery is close and could happen "any day now," the Herald understands.
The latest development comes as MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson is tipped to return across the Tasman.
Anderson is in the running to be the new chief executive of oOh!Media, The Australian reports.
The Sydney-based company - which Anderson chaired before joining MediaWorks in 2016 - bills itself as Australia and New Zealand's largest out-of-home advertising operator.
Anderson quit as MediaWorks boss last week, though the company says he will see out the rest of the year before officially departing.
On Friday, MediaWorks denied a report that it was on the verge of selling its TV arm to a US firm for $30 to $40 million, while its more financially stable radio operation would be listed on the NZX.
Earlier, Anderson confirmed that MediaWorks TV sale talks were down to one party - but he would not confirm if that party was Discovery - owner of the Discovery channel, the Food Network, and dozens of other broadcast properties.
This morning a MediaWorks spokesperson, would not comment on whether Discovery was the unidentified final party in the sales talks. "We hope to make an announcement in the coming weeks," she said.
Discovery has previously invested in this part of the world. In 2016, it tipped millions into Auckland-based RugbyPass, which in turn sold to Sky TV in a US$40m deal last August.
$25m loss, Covid challenges
On June 12, MediaWorks reported it had slumped to a $25.14m loss and says material uncertainties impacting earnings might cast "significant doubt" on the group's ability to continue as a going concern.
Financial statements for the year to December 2019 report the company's total liabilities more than doubled during the year to $296.34m ($138m in 2018) with borrowings of $133.1m at balance date.
The loss was largely attributable to an impairment of $21m, including a $12.13m write-down on property, plant and equipment assets.
MediaWorks' assets include TV station Three and radio brands The Edge and The Rock.
Covid-19 has severely impacted the business.
MediaWorks obtained $8.6m of wage subsidies and asked all existing employees to take a voluntary 15 per cent pay cut.
Full salaries were reinstated at the beginning of July.
The company also announced last month that 130 staff were being made redundant in its radio and sales teams.
"Covid-19 has simultaneously changed the world and impacted our business in ways that we could not predict or prepare for," Anderson said previously.