Seven grabs Prime stake as takeover tanks

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 & 21 : 20-Dec-19

Seven West Media has become the biggest shareholder in Prime Media Group, after the latter’s shareholders rejected a merger proposal. Some 53.53 per cent of votes cast at Prime’s scheme meeting opposed the deal; chairman John Hartigan has described it as a "disappointing outcome" for both the majority of Prime’s shareholders and the regional TV sector. Meanwhile Seven has issued 30 million of its shares to Spheria Asset Management in return for 54.6 million shares in Prime, giving Seven a 14.9 per cent stake in its regional affiliate.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SPHERIA ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Seven takeover bid has failed, Prime admits

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 19-Dec-19

Seven West Media’s proposed acquisition of regional affiliate Prime Media Group has been cleared by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. The ACCC would require Seven to divest the Spirit and RedFM radio networks in regional Western Australia to comply with broadcasting laws. However, Prime has indicated that the proxy votes which have been cast to date suggest that the deal will not proceed. Prime shareholders will vote on the deal on 19 December. Prime has confirmed that chairman John Hartigan will retire following the shareholders’ meeting.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SPIRIT RADIO, REDFM

Primed: Harto poised to sign off

Original article by Caroline Overington
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 18-Dec-19

Prime Media Group’s chairman John Hartigan expects shareholders to reject Seven West Media’s takeover offer for its regional affiliate on 18 December. He says the deal is likely to be blocked by major shareholders Bruce Gordon and Anthony Catalano, noting that they have a different agenda to other Prime investors. Hartigan supports the merger with Seven, arguing that cross-media ownership rules governing regional broadcasters are outdated and do not reflect the rise of streaming services. Hartigan has downplayed speculation that he will step down after the vote.

CORPORATES
PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Hazy outlook for Prime as moguls hedge their bets

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 16-Dec-19

Prime Media Group shareholders will vote on a proposed takeover by Seven West Media on 19 December. Prime’s major shareholders include Australian Community Media’s Antony Catalano and WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon, whose combined stake would be sufficient to block the deal. They have both expressed interest in buying Prime, but ACM would have to sell some of its regional newspapers, while any bid by Gordon would be dependent on further changes to media ownership rules. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has indicated that this is unlikely in the near-term.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Catalano not working with Gordon

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 11-Dec-19

Australian Community Media’s Antony Catalano says he is not working with WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon to block Seven West Media’s takeover bid for Prime Media Group. Their combined stake in Prime is sufficient to prevent Seven from reaching the 75 per cent acceptances threshold to complete the deal. Catalano says that himself and Gordon seem to be of the shared view that the Seven offer does not represent good value for Prime’s shareholders. Both have stressed the need for further changes to Australia’s media ownership laws.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD

Gordon, Catalano block Seven West bid for Prime

Original article by Leo Shanahan, Nick Tabakoff, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 10-Dec-19

Seven West Media has offered a fully franked special dividend of $0.03 per share for regional affiliate Prime Media Group, in addition to the initial offer of 0.4582 of its shares. However, two of Prime’s biggest shareholders – WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon and Australian Community Media’s Antony Catalano – will oppose the bid. The former has stated that Australia’s outdated media ownership laws have stymied rival bids for Prime, while Catalano has reiterated his interest in acquiring Prime in order to build ACM into a diversified regional media group.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA

Seven, Prime buff up terms of merger deal

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 9-Dec-19

Seven West Media and regional affiliate Prime Media Group have declined to comment on speculation that investors may be offered a special dividend to make their proposed merger more attractive. Seven’s offer values Prime at between $0.183 and $0.206 per share, but an independent expert’s report has valued Prime at between $0.21 and $0.24 per share. Paying a cash dividend and utilising Prime’s franking credits would lift the bid to a range that is closer to this valuation.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, LONERGAN EDWARDS AND ASSOCIATES LIMITED, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, BIRKETU PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, REGAL FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

2020 visions: big calls for new year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 & 31 : 9-Dec-19

The CEOs of Australian media, digital media and advertising groups have shared their views on the outlook for their company in 2020 and the media sector in general. Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill says the deal to acquire Pacific Magazines will increase the publisher’s stability and allow it to increase its focus on the creation of compelling branded content, while Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney says the pay-TV group’s large customer base will be its biggest advantage in 2020. Southern Cross Media Group CEO Grant Blackley says factors such as weak consumer sentiment and its flow-on effect on the advertising market will be the biggest challenge facing his company in 2020.

CORPORATES
BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, CARSALES.COM LIMITED – ASX CAR, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TWITTER AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, FETCHTV PTY LTD, JC DECAUX AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Seven merger a matter of survival for Prime

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 22-Nov-19

Prime Media Group chairman John Hartigan says the federal government is not acting quickly enough on reforms that will allow consolidation in the media sector. He has warned that Seven West Media’s takeover bid is crucial for the survival of both Prime and regional journalism. Australian Community Media’s executive chairman Antony Catalano has queried this claim, arguing that Prime should therefore have undertaken a formal sale process to allow other potential buyers to make an offer.

CORPORATES
PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA

Prime offer too low: Catalano

Original article by John Stensholt
The Australian – Page: 19 : 21-Nov-19

Businessman Antony Catalano says Seven West Media’s takeover offer for regional affiliate Prime Media Group is close to fair value, but he has urged Seven to increase the offer to make it both "fair and reasonable". An independent expert’s report has concluded that the $63m bid is "not fair but reasonable". Catalano and Alex Waislitz bought Australian Community Media earlier in 2019. Waislitz says there is potential for Prime to share newsroom and advertising resources with ACM, and he has urged Prime shareholders to consider alternatives to the Seven deal.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, THORNEY OPPORTUNITIES LIMITED – ASX TOP, THORNEY TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED – ASX TEK