October 20, 2019 / 11:06 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Seven West Media to sell Marie Claire-publisher Pacific Magazines

(Adds details on deal, CEO quote, background)

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Australia’s Seven West Media Ltd said on Monday it had agreed to sell Marie Claire-publisher Pacific Magazines to German-based Bauer Media for A$40 million ($27.4 million), looking to simplify its business and wind down debt.

The free-to-air television broadcaster expects to complete the sale by end-2019, subject to approval from Australia’s competition watchdog, and will also receive A$6.6 million of advertising on Bauer Media assets over three years.

Bauer Media was founded in Hamburg in 1875 and now operates in 15 countries including UK and Australia.

This is the latest in a series of deals for Seven West after it announced plans on Friday to buy smaller free-to-air broadcaster Prime Media Group.

The activity comes at a time when Australian media houses are consolidating to fend off online giants, such as Netflix and Alphabet Inc’s Google.

“The sale of Pacific Magazines is another major initiative aligned with our strategy to improve balance sheet flexibility and simplify the operating model to enable greater focus on growth initiatives,” said Chief Executive James Warburton.

Seven West and Bauer Media also entered into commercial arrangements including ongoing production of the “Better Homes and Gardens” television programme, and sharing lifestyle content under a long-term deal.

Bauer Media was not immediately available to comment on the deal. (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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