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Green light for merger of OOH advertiser QMS NZ and Mediaworks

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved the merger of the NZ business of ASX-listed outdoor advertiser QMS Media with radio, TV and digital company MediaWorks. The deal will create "the largest multi-media group in New Zealand." MediaWorks’ owner, US hedge fund Oaktree Capital, will take a 60% stake in the new company.

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  QMS digital screens at Britomart station in Auckland 

QMS Media told the Australian Stock Exchange on Tuesday it was “pleased to confirm that it has received consent from the Overseas Investment Office NZ to undertake the strategic merger of its New Zealand out-of-home, digital media and production business (QMS NZ) with MediaWorks NZ (MediaWorks).”

The OIO is the New Zealand government agency responsible for regulating foreign direct investment into the country.

QMS expects to receive a capital return of approximately A$35 million and have a 40% shareholding in the merged entity. MediaWorks’ owner, US hedge fund Oaktree Capital, will take a 60% stake in the new business.

QMS says the merger, first announced in November 2018, will establish the largest multi-media advertising group in New Zealand - “a “transformational multi-media provider across four platforms, delivering the combined power of out-of-home, radio, TV and digital, with a strong localised presence and experienced leadership.

“QMS and MediaWorks will now work towards achieving completion of the merger, which is expected to occur in the next 4-6 week period.”

The deal continues the recent reshuffle in the OOH market, with French giant JCDecaux last year buying APN Outdoor, while market leader oOh!media (owner of large format printer Cactus Imaging) acquired street furniture business Adshel from Here, There & Everywhere (HT&E).