Macquarie buys Texas newspapers in effort to control public info on toll roads

Link to article in Reuters here. Link to more in-depth Sydney Morning Herald article here.

The Sydney Morning Herald and Reuters is reporting that Macquarie Media Group Ltd., a subsidiary of Macquarie Bank, has purchased American Consolidated Media, subject to regulatory approval.

American Consolidated Media owns 40 newspapers, mostly in Texas and Oklahoma. The Hearne Democrat, Calvert Tribune, Alvarado Post, Bonham Journal, Ellis County Chronicle, Ennis Journal, Stephenville Empire Tribune, Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror, and the Franklin Advocate are all owned by ACM. This is Macquarie’s first print media purchase and first move into the U.S. media market.

Macquarie Bank is the parent of Macquarie Infrastructure, one of the largest toll road operators in the world. Macquarie Infrastructure last year partnered with Cintra to purchase a toll road in Indiana and is currently a bidder to control the 281/Loop 1604 toll system for the next 50 years.

D.J. Gribbin, a director for Macquarie, has just been nominated by President Bush to be General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation and is awaiting senate confirmation.

Macquarie Media buys U.S. community newspapers
Jan 24, 2007

SYDNEY, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Australia’s Macquarie Media Group said on Wednesday it has agreed to buy American Consolidated Media and Valley Newspapers Holdings LP, which publish 40 local newspapers in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

Macquarie Media said the acquisition had an enterprise value of A$102 million ($80 million).

The company said the purchase was part of a broader strategy to acquire and grow a portfolio of community newspapers in the United States.