Antony Catalano ACM

Former Domain boss Antony Catalano's interest in real estate is likely to hold him in good stead after buying Nine's regional papers. While Australian Community Media (ACM) is fading as a media business, its property values may offer Catalano a foothold in the Australian real estate business.

The deal announced yesterday valued the company (which includes 170 regional newspapers) at $115 million, with $105 million to be paid on settlement and another $10 million withheld. ACM's 2018-19 interim results for the six months to last December showed an 8% fall in revenue to $194.1 million (faster than the 6.5% in 2017-18 as the drought intensifies in eastern states). If applied across the year to June that would see revenue fall under $370 million and cut earnings to less than $40 million.