Gyngell open to Nine merger

Nine boss David Gyngell urges government to scrap reach rules

Nine Entertainment Co chief executive David Gyngell has said that Nine, which is preparing to launch an initial public offering (IPO), could be open to merger talks with a regional broadcaster if television regulations are reformed, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Current regulations prevent a commercial television network from reaching more than 75 per cent of the population, effectively blocking urban broadcasters from merging with regional counterparts.

The newspaper reported that most commercial free-to-air broadcasters have reconsidered their initial opposition to abolishing the reach rule.

“I believe there is more chance than not the reach rules will be removed in 2014,” Mr Gyngell told the AFR.

“I think there is a distinct possibility they will be removed and there will be opportunities for all networks.”

He added that he sees “real synergies available from consolidation”.

Nine plans to list on December 6, with an indicative share price range of between $2.05 and $2.35 a share.

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