Nine Entertainment Co has signed a put and call option agreement to sell its Willoughby, Sydney site for $147.5m, subject to FIRB approval and other standard completion requirements.
The purchaser, Euro Properties, a Hong Kong-based property investor, has been active in the international property market for over 25 years.
The sale will complete in two years after which Nine will be able to remain on the site, under a lease, for up to a further three years, following which it will re-locate to new premises.
Net cash proceeds after tax are expected to be around $135m, with pre-tax annual lease costs of approximately $10m from completion.
Simon Kelly, NEC chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said: “The move from the birthplace of Australian free-to-air television is a significant milestone for Nine. Our relocation to state of the art facilities will enable us to further optimise our operations as we evolve our business model in a digital world.
“This sale frees up surplus capital which provides us with significant flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities whilst underpinning our program of increased shareholder returns through our previously announced on-market share buyback and enhanced dividend payout policy.”
Photo: Channel 9’s Willoughby studios