Oz TV Network Teams with KKR

21 November 2006

SYDNEY: The shift in Australia's media landscape continues apace. Television company Seven Network has agreed to sell half of itself to US private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in a deal thought to be worth around A$4 billion ($3.1bn; €2.3bn; £1.6bn).

Under the terms of the deal, KKR will invest A$735 million for a 50% stake in the new joint venture group, while Seven will receive around A$3.5bn in cash.

The agreement follows James Packer's disposal of half of his Publishing & Broadcasting media assets to CVC Asia Pacific last month [WARC News: 19-Oct-06]. KKR had been one of the contenders in that auction.

Seven is controlled by billionaire Kerry Stokes who hopes the private equity tie-up will allow him greater financial freedom to pursue other media assets as the ownership rules relax early next year.

Stokes is already positioning himself to take best advantage of the reforms and last month bought a 14.9% stake in West Australian Newspapers.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff