Leading NZ firms broker trans-Tasman media deal

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Top-tier New Zealand firms have been tapped to provide legal advice in a major trans-Tasman merger.

MediaWorks and ASX-listed QMS Media have finalised the terms for the merger of MediaWorks with QMS New Zealand, QMS Media’s out-of-home, digital media and production business.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is acting for MediaWorks, New Zealand’s leading independent radio, TV, and digital business. Chapman Tripp is advising QMS in the deal, which creates the biggest media company in New Zealand.

QMS will take a 40% stake in the combined business, while 60% goes to funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, the owner of MediaWorks. Michael Anderson, MediaWorks chief executive, will be CEO of the merged business.

Corporate partner Mark Forman heads the MinterEllisonRuddWatt deal team, which is working closely with the MediaWorks legal team led by Alex Nicholson and Oaktree Capital.

The Chapman Tripp team was led by partner Fiona Bennett, who was supported by partners Hamish Foote and Bevan Miles; senior associates Colin Fife and Stephanie Muller; senior solicitors Thomas Joseph and Victoria Joseph; and solicitors Sam Steven, Dan Chan, Michelle Chan, and Charlotte Hooper.

The merger is a transformational agreement and enables MediaWorks to provide integrated advertising services across TV, radio, online, and outdoor media platforms, Forman said.

The merger is subject to approvals, including from New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office.