November 19, 2019 / 1:23 AM / 22 days ago

New Zealand's NZME confirms talks to buy media firm Stuff from Nine

(Reuters) - NZME Ltd (NZM.NZ), the owner of New Zealand’s top-selling newspaper, said on Tuesday it was in talks with Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (NEC.AX) to buy rival news firm Stuff and has made a proposal to New Zealand’s government about a possible transaction.

NZME, which owns the newspaper New Zealand Herald and radio brand Newstalk ZB, said the discussions are preliminary and stressed that no decision had been made.

It did not disclose further details about the potential transaction.

The country’s competition regulator in 2017 rejected NZME’s previous takeover attempt of the New Zealand unit of Fairfax Media, the then owners of Stuff, saying the deal would have led to unprecedented local media influence.

Last year, Stuff’s ownership changed hands as Nine bought newspaper publisher Fairfax.

A representative for Nine declined to comment on the talks.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Edwina Gibbs

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