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Nine plans to close the Mi9 deal ahead of its planned IPO, the proceeds of which will be used to pay down debt, people familiar with the matter said. The targeted size of the IPO hasn’t been determined, but will be at least A$500 million, one of the people said.

That would make Nine’s offering Australia’s largest of the year, ahead OzForex Group Ltd., which raised A$413 million, according to data provider Dealogic. This year, US$1.8 billion has been raised in 25 Australian IPOs, according to Dealogic.

Shares in Nine’s rivals have given mixed performances this year. Seven West Media Ltd. and Ten Network Holdings Ltd., the owners of Australia’s only other two commercial free-to-air television networks, rose 43% and fell 1.7%, respectively, while the benchmark S&P/ASX200 has risen 12%.

Nine’s owners have hired Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley and UBS as joint lead managers on the listing, and Deutsche Bank AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. have secured co-manager roles, the people said.

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Nine agreed to pay around 40 million Australian dollars (US$37.9 million) for the stake, a person familiar with the matter said. Nine will continue to be Microsoft’s Australian media partner, the company said in a statement.

Mi9′s flagship asset is ninemsn.com.au. The group’s news sites reached a combined 2.9 million unique viewers in August, according to Nielsen.

Nine has endured some tough times since forming the Mi9 joint venture with Microsoft in 1997.

In 2006, Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd., a company backed by billionaire James Packer, sold 50% of Nine to private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners for A$4.5 billion. CVC bought the rest of Nine, which also owns assets such as ticketing business Ticketek and Sydney’s Allphone Arena, over the next two years.

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The Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media was formed in 2010 and is now in its third term. Throughout its existence, the Council has focused on two main themes: 1) industry-related risks and opportunities; 2) the role of media in promoting social issues and adding value to society. The Council plans to develop an interactive report outlining the road map for the future of media through a process of co-creation with experts and the general public. The co-creation will take place on a crowd-sourcing platform hosted by the European Commission.

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The Global Agenda Council on Informed Societies was formed in 2010 after emerging from the GAC on the Future of Journalism. The overall vision of the Council is to identify and raise awareness of how different stakeholders can ensure that all citizens have access to reliable information in order to make informed decisions. Now in its third term, the Council is working on producing an Index of Informed Societies, which will use the above criteria to rank countries according to their current status in achieving fully informed societies.

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Currently three Global Agenda Councils exist that that relate to the issues of the media industry: The Global Agenda Council on Social Media, The Future of Media and Informed Societies. 

The Global Agenda Council on Social Media

The digital media landscape has changed immensely, influenced by social media and social network sites, which have fundamentally changed the way we work, govern, communicate, and live. It has created immense opportunity, not without fear or challenges however.  Most of all, it has created disruption. Amidst the disruption, the aim of the Global Agenda Council on Social Media, which was created in 2011, is to be a centre for ideas, knowledge and facts in demonstrating both the positive power of social media, while also shedding light on some of the confusion, contested values, and unanswered questions.