Seven Media set to be acquired by WA Newspapers in $4.1bn deal

21 February, 2011 by Sam Dallas

One of Australia’s leading media companies Seven Media Group is set to be acquired by West Australian Newspapers, after a $4.1 billion agreement was made.

The proposed transaction, dependent on shareholder approval, would result in the creation of Seven West Media, which will remain listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.


As a result, the Perth-based company would own all of The Seven Network and a third of Sky News, while having a presence in radio, magazine and newspaper publishing, and online.

West Australian Newspapers would sell more than $1 billion in new shares (equivalent to 29.6 shares), $250 million of convertible preference shares and repay an existing $650 million loan to help fund the transaction.

Seven Group Holdings, which was created following a Seven Network/WesTrac Group merger last year, would become Seven West Media’s largest shareholder with 29.6 per cent of the company’s shares, while joint venture partner Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co will hold 12.6 per cent.

In a statement, Seven Group Holdings' chief executive Peter Gammell said it represented a “logical” next step.

“As a result of the transaction, Seven Group Holdings will be the largest shareholder in Seven West Media, which will comprise two iconic Australian media assets, namely: Seven Network and the West Australian."

The current CEO of Seven Media Group, David Leckie, will be appointed group chief executive officer and managing director of SWM if the proposal goes ahead.