West Australian Newspapers is to buy Seven Media Group in a $4.1bn (£2.5bn) deal which will create one of the country’s biggest media businesses.
Australian tycoon Kerry Stokes, chairman of WAN and its largest shareholder with a 24.3 percent stake, already owns 45 per cent of Seven Media Group through his Seven Group Holdings firm.
Stokes said yesterday the deal would be brought about by raising capital of $1.15bn and through equity, creating a new business called Seven West Media.
Yahoo News Asia reported that Seven Group Holdings will become the largest shareholder with 29.6 per cent, while equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co – which currently owns 45 per cent of Seven Media Group – will take a 12.6 per cent share of the new business.
Seven Media Group’s assets include the national television broadcaster the Seven Network, a magazine company, a 50 per cent share in online portal Yahoo!7 and a share in the local Sky News franchise.
“Combining these two businesses will create a substantial and diverse combination of traditional and new media platforms to enhance WAN’s ability to compete effectively in the ever changing media landscape,” WAN’s independent director Doug Flynn told The Australian newspaper yesterday.