Packer Parts Company with PBL

28 October 2008

SYDNEY: James Packer (pictured) has stepped down from the board of PBL Media, the Australian broadcast-to-print empire created by his late father, the billionaire media mogul Kerry Packer, but which is now thought to be facing some financial difficulties. 

According to a statement by Consolidated Media Holdings – which officially controls Packer's 25% share in the media group – both he and CMH chief executive John Alexander have stepped down from the board of PBL.

Packer sold 75% of PBL to private equity partners CVC Capital and CVC Asia Pacific in two stages, the last of which was in June 2007.

The deal is thought to have resulted in PBL incurring debts of over A$4bn ($2.4bn; €1.9bn; £1.6bn) as of June this year.

Packer's departure was said to be pre-empted by CVC's attempt to secure A$75m from CMH as part of a A$300m refinancing initiative.

A statement from Packer's holding company reads: "The board has resolved that CMH does not intend to contribute any further funding to PBL Media."

It added that "any additional capital contribution" secured by CVC would effectively dilute CMH's stake, over which it no longer exerts a significant influence. 

While reports have suggested that PBL is struggling with its current debt level, the company's chief executive, Ian Law, says: “The group has been in compliance with all of its financial covenant requirements to September 2008.”

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff