Antony Catalano denies claims he's set to take on Domain

Antony Catalano denies claims he's set to take on Domain
Antony Catalano denies claims he's set to take on Domain

The new owner of Nine’s regional newspapers, Antony Catalano, has denied suggestions he’s embarking on building up a real estate outfit to eventually take on his former employer, 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.

Antony Catalano denies claims he's set to take on 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.

Domain has reported a 6 percent dip in revenues in a market update released yesterday.

It comes on the back of a 13% decline in residential sale listings during the March quarter, with Domain CEO Jason Pellegrino adding agent upselling and enhanced consumer products were offsetting the decline in listing volumes.

The result reflect Domain’s performance across the first three months of calendar year 2019.

Despite the listings falls, the company reported double-digit growth in residential digital yield.

Deepening the Domain brand and content integration with Nine including a new Your Domain TV show and other TV integrations are set to occur.

"Our relationship with Nine provides unparalleled opportunity to expand Domain’s reach and engagement. We have several initiatives underway," Pellegrino said.

"We are expanding our business model beyond the typical six-month transaction window to service the entirety of the typical 10-year property ownership cycle," he said.

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