An Australasian outdoor media company is proposing to merge its New Zealand business with MediaWorks and take a major share in the company.
In a statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange, QMS Media, which specialises in outdoor billboard and street furniture advertising, has said MediaWorks will take over its business activities in return for a material, but not a controlling share in the company.
QMS Media chairperson Wayne Stevenson said New Zealand is an important part of the company's business.
"We are excited about the potential opportunity to create a leading multi-media group that will transform the New Zealand advertising industry."
The company said the proposed merger is consistent with overseas trends in the media industry towards consolidation and multi-media ownership.
MediaWorks owns TV3 and several commercial radio networks including the Breeze.
MediaWorks chairperson Jack Matthews said the company has made great strides in the past two years under the current leadership.
"With this proposed merger, MediaWorks will be able to further enhance its ability to deliver high quality local content and more effective advertising solutions to customers. It will represent a significant investment in and commitment to New Zealand."
In an email to staff, MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson said it was an opportunity for the company as it expanded the way its advertisers could reach the public "at all parts of the consumer journey".
"We have entered into a Heads of Agreement and are now working through the detail - but both parties are confident the merger will proceed. Once the deal is done the partnership will mean we become the leading multi-platform media company in New Zealand."
Mr Anderson told staff that it would "neatly support" advertisers' video strategy on TV with access to other digital screens.
"We hope the approvals would conclude in the first half of 2019, so it is business as usual for both companies until then."
The merger is subject to the parties agreeing final binding terms and to customary conditions and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.