Antony Catalano, the new owner of Nine Entertainment's regional newspapers, has claimed to that he is not planning to build up a real estate arm to eventually take on his former place of employment, Domain.
The denial came after sources speculated to the media website Mumbrella that the acquisition was part of a wider play for Catalano.
It was suggested he could roll-up his assets to launch a real estate portal to take on Domain, which is majority owned by Nine.
The former CEO of Domain also owns a stake in Domain’s biggest client, media agency Tomorrow.
“Why would I have my own real estate play when I’ve got a clearly defined partnership which includes promotion with the Nine Network for the next three years?,” he said.
“It’s ill-informed speculation without understanding. We’ve clearly done a deal [with Nine]. We clearly want to work together,” he said, noting it would work against him to go up against Nine and Domain.
“The speculation doesn’t have any basis. It’s actually completely contrary to what’s in front of you.”
Catalano did, however, concede he once had visions of such a roll-up.
“I actually thought at one time that Fairfax should actually buy advertising agencies in the real estate space [to] close the loop,” he told Mumbrella.
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