Nine Entertainment Co and WIN Corporation have struck an agreement that would make it easier for Nine to purchase WIN's regional television stations of the Abbott government eliminates reach rules that currently bar free-to-air TV sector consolidation, according to The Australian Financial Review.
The word of a “first look” agreement came as the two companies completed on Monday a $220 million acquisition by Nine of WIN's Perth television station.
The deal gives Nine ownership of a television station in each mainland capital city, and comes as Nine is reportedly mulling a $3 billion initial public offering, possibly later this year.
The federal government's reach rules prevent a TV licence holder from reaching more than 75% of the national population, limiting regional TV broadcasters' ability to merge with metropolitan TV networks.
As part of the agreement, Nine will have the right to review any bids for WIN's remaining businesses, giving it the opportunity to make a counter offer, the AFR added.