Last week Bauer Media Group announced it intends to pick up several APN titles in a deal subject to Commerce Commission approval.
About 65 APN employees at New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, The Listener, Simply You, Simply You Living and Crème will be affected if the deal goes through. However they will have the opportunity to move to the German-owned family-run company, APN NZ chief executive Martin Simons says.
But, as well as making power plays in the New Zealand market, the company is a huge player on the global stage.
It is the largest consumer magazine publishing company in the UK and owns than 570 magazines, over 300 digital products and 50 radio and TV stations worldwide.
The German media powerhouse now makes about 70% of its revenues outside its homeland.
The Bauer family is known to be intensely private, giving one press conference each year around Christmas time in Hamburg where it outlines what it has been doing each year.
Forbes values 74-year-old chairman Heinz Bauer at $US1.8 billion and he is the third generation of the family to lead the group.
However, he does not travel outside of Europe much.
NBR ONLINE understands Mr Bauer’s 30-something daughter, chief executive Yvonne Bauer, is the driving force in New Zealand, where Bauer has 350 staff.
Employees address her formally as Miss Bauer, reflective of the reserved and proper “German way.”
Miss Bauer has visited New Zealand several times and is very proud of Bauer’s new building at CityWorks in Auckland’s Wellesley St.
One insider says the strictness of the Bauer regime has made reporting more vigorous but, ultimately, the discipline is good for the company.
“They come over, they look at your shoes and stuff. It is very formal and disciplined and organised.”
Last year Bauer bought ACP Media in Australia and New Zealand , a stable of magazine titles, for some $A500 million.
Across the ditch, Bauer this week announced it would merge the staff of women’s titles Dolly and Cleo. It has already closed Grazia and Madison.
Bauer New Zealand chief executive Paul Dykezuel says under the APN deal titles will not be merged but there will be staff losses should the deal go ahead.