Billionaire and AFR Rich Lister Alex Waislitz has confirmed the investment details of his participation in former Domain CEO Antony Catalano’s recent $115 million acquisition of the Australian Community Media (ACM) group from Nine Entertainment.
Waislitz has invested 25 per cent interest in the equity component of the ACM acquisition via his ASX-listed Thorney Opportunities, and 25 per cent via his privately owned Thorney Investment Group. The remaining 50 per cent has been acquired by interests associated with Catalano.
Thorney Opportunities, Thorney Investment Group and Antony Catalano have formed a joint venture company to own and manage the ACM assets.
ACM is an Australian media company with more than 170 regional newspapers and publications, and more than 130 associated community-based websites. It also produces the Australian Dairyfarmers association magazine and website, and the special interest newspaper and website The Senior.
Nine Entertainment had acquired ACM as part of its takeover of the Fairfax Media group which was completed in December 2018. Nine Entertainment then elected to dispose of ACM and the Thorney/Catalano joint venture was the successful bidder. The acquisition became effective on 30 June 2019.
Waislitz told his shareholders “While it is very early days, we are very excited about the opportunities presented by Thorney Opportunities’ participation in the acquisition of ACM. We believe that the combination of Thorney’s investment management expertise and Antony Catalano’s proven ability to create value from media assets will result in considerable upside for Thorney Opportunities’ investors over time.”
Recently, Waislitz shared with the Australian Financial Review what he looks for in a company when investing: “quality of management, value and opportunity”.