Fairfax-APN New Zealand Marriage: Vows of a Mature Publishing Couple

No lawful impediment to the union is pending.  www.mscnewswire.co.nz 

Napier, MSCNewsWire, 11 May 2016 – The coast is clear for the marriage of the two New Zealand subsidiaries of Australian media chains Fairfax and APN. There is no legal impediment remaining to their union. They resemble a duo well past the full flush of youth and on their lips are the words “why didn’t we do this years ago?”

Like any couple of, well, mature years entering into wedlock, the duo for some time have sensibly laid the groundwork in assessing their mutual possessions and especially so in terms of the long term care and maintenance of the children, in this case the sprawling gaggle of district newspapers and other such assets.

The couple have already, for example, worked out who will claim what in the couple’s sprawling Central Districts region where a medley of jointly owned free and subscriber titles have for so many years jostled together, uneconomically .

Now the couple at last can realise value on their joint hard assets. These are the ones that they had to keep funding in order to accommodate these separate families. Things such as offices and plants. At least, the ones they didn’t have to sell and then lease-back.

They can sample the honeymoon excitement of the type that even after the long postponement is still full of fun. Looking at the logistics will be one such source of bliss. Will they print in Auckland or Wellington? Christchurch, even? The newspapers are skinny enough nowadays to fill an air freighter.

There is the enjoyment of owning your own uninterrupted destiny in the form of knowing that there are no other suitors knocking at the door. So the weekend bulldog editions and Sundays can be printed early and rail freighted across the main trunk. Shipped to the South Island. And vice versa. The couple’s freight schedules and maps are laid out on the marital bedspread.

There will of course be the regrets, and they will have a few. There are the aging old retainers, some of them half century men, the ones in the makeup pools, who must now be given their final farewell.

But most of all, and as with all couples of a certain age finally tying the knot there will be the remorse on what might have been.

At Fairfax, the more demure of the two South Seas romancing partners, there will be the lingering angst to the effect that if only they had done this bonding earlier they might have avoided paying ten times over the odds for their bet-the-company deal on TradeMe.

This one will be on the mind of the APN partner too. What could they not have done together, united. If only if they had taken their vows much earlier? Watch for some Mr & Mrs style squalls if not outright rows on this one.

Then there will be the constant imminence of the simmering sorrows that afflict any marriage. There will for example be the conundrum of their once and long time controlling interest in the now disbanded New Zealand Press Association.

Could we both have purged the old cooperative of of its public service mentality? Could we have revved it up, they will find themselves asking each other in their more intimate moments, to the point at which we might have frightened off such unwanted intrusion such as that of Bloomberg? Thomson Reuters?

Then there will be tension always so present with any newlyweds in regard to those inescapable practical big decisions, the ones that cannot be sidestepped. In the case of these two betrothed such a decision centres on their free model web sites.

One can bear with the couple. Should they lock the sites up with a pay wall? Well, why not? But oh dear! What if we leave the door open to a competing free site? One which makes off with our advertisers, especially those of the so supportive property sector?

Like buying a house in the right street, no respectable marriage is ever free of such pivotal decisions.

Yes, regrets, they will have a few. But as their joint lawyers and other such advisers attendant upon a union of this scale put the finishing touches to the small print of the pre-nuptial agreement, there is one overwhelming consolation.

It is that as the duo stands at the altar, there will be no last moment intercession from anyone representing the government.

The path lies clear and unfettered before them.

From the MSCNewsWire reporters desk

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