Fairfax Media announced yesterday that it has increased its stake in Metro Media Publishing Holdings from 50 per cent to 100 per cent.
Metro Media Publishing holds a majority stake in reviewproperty.com.au as well as 15 weekly premium real estate and lifestyle-focused magazines and newspapers in Victoria.
The shareholders in these businesses are the hundreds of Victorian agents who have financial interests through Metro Media Publishing’s equity structure, which will continue under the new ownership.
Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood said the Metro Media Publishing deal simplifies the operations of Fairfax’s property services businesses, which have more than $300 million in real estate revenue.
“Domain is continuing its aggressive national expansion,” Mr Hywood said. “The consolidation of Metro Media Publishing Holdings caps a series of significant developments for Domain in the past 12 months.”
These include the acquisition of Property Data Solutions in December 2013 and Allhomes in July 2014.
“The Domain Group is growing strongly, delivering revenue growth of 21 per cent in the first four months of 2014/2015 across its broad suite of digital, print, software and data products servicing the residential and commercial real estate markets,” Mr Hywood said.
Domain chief executive Antony Catalano will be responsible for the operations of Metro Media Publishing, which he founded.
Mr Catalano said the combined operations of Doman and Metro Media had helped them “take enormous ground in Victoria” during the past two years.
“Our Domain print products are growing, domain.com.au’s depth products are the number one choice in a large number of key markets, and at the same time Metro Media Publishing is growing faster than anyone in the sector,” Mr Catalano said.
“The agent equity model works. It helps bring better products, more competition, more choice and more innovation to the market and property vendors and buyers are the big winners.”
Mr Catalano said Domain expected to gain significant traction over the next 12 months from its national rollout of the agent equity model.
“The success of the Victoria model has been closely observed by agents around the country and many are now keen to embrace the model,” he said.
Update: Real Estate Business originally reported that Domain Group had increased its stake in Metro Media Publishing Holdings from 50 per cent to 100 per cent, and therefore taken a majority stake in reviewproperty.com.au. The report was based on a media release that said this: “MMPH holds the majority interests in 15 weekly premium real estate and lifestyle-focused magazines and newspapers in Victoria as well as the fast-growing digital property business reviewproperty.com.au." However, Real Estate Business has since been informed that Domain has not taken a majority stake in reviewproperty.com.au but only has a 50 per cent share.