Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher buys company for $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.

Sinead Boucher, chief executive of Stuff

Sinead Boucher, chief executive of Stuff Photo: Supplied

The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale expected to be completed by 31 May.

“Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders,” Boucher said in a statement.

“Local ownership will bring many benefits to our staff, our customers and indeed to all Kiwis, as we take advantage of opportunities to invest in and grow the business.”

Nine will retain ownership of Stuff’s Petone printing plant site and lease it back to the media company. And Stuff will receive a percentage of the proceeds of its sale of Stuff Fibre to Vocus.

“As a result of the successful completion of the Stuff Fibre sale on 20 May 2020, Nine will receive 25 percent of those proceeds before completion of the Stuff sale, plus up to a further 75 percent over the subsequent 36 months, depending on the Stuff business’ ability to raise funding,” Nine said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

NZME had announced earlier this month it wanted to buy Stuff for $1 and asked the government to pass legislation allowing it to skirt the need for Commerce Commission approval.

Nine Entertainment insisted no such deal had been agreed and negotiations with NZME were already over, and the spat ended up in the High Court with NZME denied an injunction against the Nine.

Stuff employees were last month asked to take a 12-week pay cut because of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

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