Oamaru Mail sold to Allied

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Allied Press Ltd, publisher of the Otago Daily Times, has announced its purchase of the Oamaru Mail newspaper and its website from The Christchurch Star Company.

The Oamaru Mail, which was founded in 1876, is published five days a week and is one of the country’s oldest newspapers.

All staff will transfer to Allied Press.

“The Oamaru Mail has a proud history and we see it as a valuable addition to our current stable of newspapers, websites and television stations,” Allied Press managing director Sir Julian Smith said yesterday.

“Allied Press has a strong presence in North Otago and South Canterbury through the ODT, The Courier (Timaru) and our weekly tabloid North Otago Times, which is based in Oamaru.

“And we are pleased the Oamaru Mail will be owned and operated by an Otago-based business.”

Allied Press Ltd publishes the ODT and its website, www.odt.co.nz, and more than 10 community newspaper titles in Canterbury, Otago and Southland. It also has a major interest in the Greymouth Star and its associated titles, and owns the television stations Channel 39, in Dunedin, and CTV, in Christchurch.

The Christchurch Star Company managing director Pier Smulders said the Oamaru Mail – which the company acquired last year from APN New Zealand along with its purchase of the Christchurch Star newspaper business – had performed a vital role in North Otago for nearly a century-and a-half and was being sold to a successful publisher with well-established roots in Otago.

“The decision to sell was based on our determination to concentrate our efforts in greater Christchurch and Allied Press, with its deep roots in Otago, are the natural purchaser of a paper in this region.”

The deal takes effect from August 1. Details remain confidential.

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD

CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP: Allied Press operations director Ray Clarkson, Oamaru Mail general manager Tony Nielsen and Christchurch Star Company managing director Pier Smulders.