Fairfax is further expanding its digital property business by paying $72 million to buy the remaining 50 per cent of Victoria-based Metro Media Publishing Holdings.
The media giant previously held 50 per cent of Metro Media and will buy the remainder of the company through $53.5 million in Fairfax shares and $18.5 million in cash.
Metro Media owns 15 real estate and lifestyle-focused magazines and newspapers in Victoria, as well as digital property business reviewproperty.com.au
Fairfax boss Greg Hywood said today that the move was part of the media group’s efforts to expand its Domain real estate business.
“The consolidation of the balance of the equity in MMPH simplifies the operations of our fast-growing property services businesses,” he said.
Fairfax is planning a national rollout of an “agent equity” model pioneered by Metro Media that allows real estate agents to take up a stake in its property businesses.
InDaily reported in September on the Domain Group’s plans to expand its operation in Adelaide, with local agents receiving a letter from CEO Anthony Catalano inviting them to participate in “a new industry-owned real estate digital advertising business”.
“This is the industry’s chance to create a genuine alternative and put a stop to the widespread concerns over the behaviour of other media companies,” the letter said.
The Domain Group’s expansion means renewed competition in the Adelaide real estate advertising market, which is currently dominated by the News Corp-majority-owned realestate.com.au.
– with AAP
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