ANZ invests in media company

$50 million deal includes minority shareholding

ANZ invests in media company

ANZ has announced it will be investing in Australian property media and technology company View Media Group.

Under the agreement, the big four bank will invest $50 million for a minority shareholding in the company. ANZ said it would work with VMG to establish a proposed exclusive financial services partnership on key products.

VMG has a portfolio of businesses offering consumer and business property and media related solutions, including a residential listing portal, real-estate marketing agencies and property-technology businesses. These include realestateview, propic and beevo.

ANZ said the partnership would help achieve its existing strategy of establishing a suite of services in the homeowner space that make it easier to buy, own or rent a property.

“This includes partnering with other service providers to that space like real estate agents and utility operators,” ANZ said.

As part of the transaction, ANZ will gain a seat on VMG’s board.

VMG's owner and executive chairman is former Domain boss Antony Catalano (pictured above) and business partner Alex Waislitz is the co-owner. Catalano is also the executive chairman of Australian Community Media (ACM), which operates more than 160 regional publications across Australia.

The Australian Financial Review reported that ANZ’s deal with VMG was aimed at adding more mortgages to its approximately $700bn loan book.

Seven West Media is also backing VMG, with the AFR reporting the media giant invested about $100m in the company last year.

In information provided to Australian Broker, VMG said the investment from ANZ, when combined with the investment from Seve West Media and Catalano and Waislitz’s regional publishing business ACM, provides VMG with the audience reach and
financial resources to scale its operations and target opportunities in the annual $300bn real estate transactions market in Australia.

In addition to the $50m cash investment, ANZ and VMG have agreed to pursue the formation of a strategic alliance in financial services, including further investment from both parties to target the mortgage market and other consumer finance products, VMG said.

“This is a clear endorsement of the VMG business and the strategy we have set ourselves to disrupt the real estate transactional market,” Catalano said. “To receive financial backing from one of Australia’s largest companies speaks volumes for the work the team has done to build a major new player in the real estate media and technology sector.”

“ANZ has demonstrated that it is a forward-thinking bank and has a clear plan to invest in emerging and disruptive businesses: I’m personally very excited to have their backing and can't wait to deliver on our plans, not only to generate shareholder value for them but operationally, a steady stream of financial services customers from across the VMG property ecosystem.”

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