James Packer’s PBL Media has blown its rival, WIN, out of the water with a quarter-of-a billion-dollar bid for Nine Network northern NSW regional affiliate, NBN, at present owned by the listed company SP Telemedia.
SP Telemedia revealed today that it “has entered into an agreement with PBL Media Pty Limited to purchase the company’s media assets, including NBN Television and its outside broadcasting and production operations (trading as One80 Digital Post) … The total offer consideration for the assets is $250 million. After a thorough sale process, the directors of Soul carefully considered all proposals received from interested parties and concluded that the offer from PBL Media was superior and provided the best outcome for all Soul stakeholders, both in terms of value and deliverability”.
WIN, owned by billionaire Bruce Gordon, is thought to have bid around $190 million. WIN owns around 12% of SP Telemedia so it stands to make around $30 million if there is a full capital return to shareholders.
Both PBL Media and WIN have started talking to Southern Cross Adelaide about its station, NWS 9. It was bought by Southern Cross for $98 million. Adelaide is the worst performing of the five major metro markets but NWS 9 could be expected to be sold for around $150 million, if PBL Media really wants it.
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The Packer interests have bid $136 million for the loss-making STW 9 in Perth, but WIN has topped that with a $163.2 million offer which appears a little cheap, given the NBN price.