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Shares in APN surge in heavy turnover

Shares in publisher APN News & Media, owner of The New Zealand Herald and a series of Australian regional titles, surged nearly 25 per cent today, sparking speculation a review of the company’s Kiwi assets may have found a buyer.

Chief executive Brett Chenoweth put the assets on the block in May, hiring Deutsche Bank to advise on a strategic review after receiving approaches from potential buyers.

APN, which also owns a suite of magazine and radio assets in New Zealand, told shareholders in May that approaches had concerned ‘‘some or all of our New Zealand assets’’.

Shares in APN have fallen heavily this year along with other traditional media companies.

But in turnover twice the daily average today, APN shares shot up 8.5 cents, or 24.6 per cent, to 43 cents. The stock was the biggest mover on the ASX 200 today.

Mr Chenoweth told shareholders in May the media group, which also owns a stake in The Radio Network (which includes NewsTalkZB, Hauraki and Classic Hits), was reviewing all of its New Zealand media assets.

"In recent months, APN has identified a number of opportunities and at the same time received approaches in relation to potential transactions involving some or all of our New Zealand assets," he said at the time.

BusinessDay is seeking comment from APN News & Media.