Media News - Friday, September 07, 2012
Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd agreed to back a revised AUD 2bn (USD 2.06bn) takeover offer from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, in a deal that would give News Corp a greater share of Australia's pay-TV market. A successful takeover would also clear the way for billionaire James Packer, who holds a 50.1 percent stake in Consolidated Media, to exit his last big media venture as he focuses on gambling. The deal will double the stake of News Corp's Australian unit in dominant pay-TV operator Foxtel to 50 percent and give it 100 percent of content provider Fox Sports, boosting its pay-TV exposure at the same time as it cuts back print operations. Consolidated Media (CMH) said its board backed the offer, in the absence of a higher bid. The binding proposal from News Corp represented an implied multiple of 9.4 times forward earnings, as well as a premium of 15 percent to the average share price over the past three months. A sale would see Packer all but exit what was once a media empire, built up over decades by his father Kerry Packer and grandfather Sir Frank Packer, apart from a 10 percent stake in television company Ten Network. (Reuters)
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