Takeovers: Seven makes a bid for Prime; AusNet accepts Brookfield’s offer
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Prime Media’s board has already backed the bid and indicated up to 43.5% of its shareholders intend to vote for it.
It told shareholders it provided certainty amidst uncertainty in the regional television market and that it was a hefty premium to its recent trading – 57% higher than Friday’s closing price.
“The proposal from Seven has been warmly received by our Board. Should it complete, the benefits for our shareholders, our regional audiences and our regional and national advertisers are meaningful,” declared Prime chair Cass O’Connor.
Seven told its shareholders it would unlock the premium and integrated revenue potential of a combined metropolitan and regional audience base across broadcast and digital platforms and there would be cost synergies of up to $10 million.
“The acquisition means SWN will become Australia’s leading commercial premium broadcast, video and news network, with the potential to reach more than 90% of Australia’s population every month,” said Seven CEO James Warburton.
“The proposed transaction is an exciting and transformative development for advertisers and media buyers. It means we will be able to give advertisers easy and seamless access via a single platform to capital city and regional markets.”
Prime Media shares rose by over 70% while Seven shares went through a more modest boost.
Also this morning, AusNet (ASX:AST) entered into a binding agreement to let Brookfield buy it out for $10.2 billion.
Brookfield first made a bid six weeks ago although AusNet only recently made the decision to go ahead. While Brookfield was allowed a period of due diligence, it also had to contend with a competing bid from APA (ASX:APQ).
But ultimately, Brookfield wooed the board with a bid slightly higher than it indicated six weeks ago – $2.65 per share as opposed to $2.50.
“The board believes that the agreed Scheme value appropriately reflects AusNet’s stable, growing and diversified portfolio of high quality regulated and contracted assets as well as the strong growth prospects that it is well positioned to pursue,” it said.