As the legal beagles for Seven West Media and former employee Amber Harrison headed for the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney Tuesday morning for their first courtroom meeting, Kerry Stokes’ key company Seven Group Holdings has raised eyebrows in the media sector by slashing the book value of its 41% stake in Seven West Media. According to its interim financial result and accounts issued Tuesday, Seven Group said it had impaired its stake in Seven West by nearly $158 million — to $498.1 million. That was a cut of 24%. That was after the market price of Seven West shares fell 22.9% in the December half year, and are down a further 10.5% so far this year because of weak earnings and revenue figures and the loss of confidence due to the Amber Harrison-Tim Worner brawl. Seven West shares closed at 72 cents yesterday, valuing the company at $1.09 billion. The impairment means that at the moment, Seven Group directors (which include Kerry Stokes and son Ryan) see little chance of Seven West Media shares regaining their former glories above $1 any time soon.

Peter Fray

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