(Adds CEO comment, background)
Sept 25 (Reuters) - NZME Ltd, the owner of New Zealand’s top-selling newspaper, said on Tuesday the Court Of Appeals had blocked its bid to merge with Fairfax Media Ltd’s New Zealand unit.
The company said its appeal against the High Court’s decision to block the merger was unsuccessful. NZME had decided to contest the High Court decision last February.
The Court Of Appeals is the second highest appeals court In the country, behind the Supreme Court. NZME said it would consider the judgment and “review its options.”
NZME Chief Executive Michael Boggs said he was disappointed by the decision.
The deal, first announced in 2016, would have seen NZME purchasing Fairfax’s New Zealand subsidiary, Stuff Ltd. It was initially blocked by New Zealand’s competition regulator on concerns it would have led to unprecedented local media influence, a decision upheld by the country’s High Court.
Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Peter Cooney