Australia's Nine entertainment empire has sold its ACP Magazines stable to Germany's Bauer Media Group in a bid to address its debt woes, with the assets struggling as readers and revenue shift online.
Nine, which also owns several television and radio stations and online assets, said it had agreed to sell 100 percent of ACP Magazines to Bauer in a deal expected to be finalised in four to eight weeks.
Nine said the purchase price was confidential, but local media put it at around Aus$500 million (US$510 million).
"The decision to sell the magazine business is not one we have made lightly," Nine chief executive David Gyngell said in a statement late Tuesday.
"On balance, however, the sale provides (Nine) with an attractive all-cash valuation and ACP with the benefits of being part of a global publisher organisation.
"This sale will also allow us to focus on our core television and growing digital and events businesses," he added.
ACP, established in 1933, is Australia and New Zealand's largest magazine publisher with a raft of well-known titles in almost every genre, including Women's Weekly, TV Week, Cleo, and Australian House and Garden.
Bauer publisher and owner Yvonne Bauer said the acquisition fit well with the German firm's global growth plans and would provide Hamburg-based Bauer with "perfect platforms to expand into digital areas".
Bauer is a worldwide publishing house with magazine titles in 15 countries including Britain, the United States, China and Russia, as well as various television and radio assets.
Nine is racing a February deadline to repay Aus$2.8 billion in debt or risk defaulting, and analysts said offloading the struggling print assets could make the company more attractive to investors.
The Australian media firm was linked earlier this year to Hollywood magnate Harry Sloan, the former chair of MGM Studios, who was reported to be interested in a takeover that would see Nine refinanced and listed on the Nasdaq.