Every little bit counts when you are a media mogul, even if it involves playing in your own backyard when everyone thinks you want to play on a bigger stage.

Kerry Stokes has taken advantage of a weak West Australian newspapers share price, to put the Seven Network’s foot on a bit more of WAN.

Seven told the ASX yesterday that it had lifted its stake in WAN to 16.1 per cent, from just over 15 per cent.

Seven had previously lifted its stake from just under 15 per cent to a little more than that in April, after the new media laws came into force.

WAN shares fell 23 cents to $14.32 yesterday, while Seven shares were steady at $11.15.

Besides WAN, Seven’s other big play is around 12.2% of Perth based mining services company, GRD.

That’s around 23.5 million shares and is a “mates” deal because Stokes is close to the newish chairman of GRD, Richard Court, the former WA Premier. Transfield Services is trying to bid for GRD but Stokes is not a supporter.

So at the moment that $2.5 billion or more in cash in Seven from the sale of 50% of the network and Pacific Magazines to KKR, is sitting in a bank account somewhere in the world while Stokes plays at the edges in his home town.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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