Private Equity Firm Assumes Control of PBL Media

04 June 2007

SYDNEY: The Packer dynasty has surrendered control of much of its Australian media empire following the sale of a further 25% of PBL Media to private equity group CVC Asia Pacific.

As reported last week, the Publishing & Broadcasting group - of which James Packer (pictured above) is executive chairman - entered into negotiations that would lift CVC's overall share in PBL Media to 75%.

A price of A$515 million ($426.5m; €317.5m £215.6m) was agreed between the two parties, handing CVC effective control of PBL's flagship channel the Nine Network, as well as recently-purchased free-to-air broadcaster NBN Television.

The deal also included the Australian News Channel, over sixty magazine titles and a number of internet interests - including ninemsn, PBL's joint venture with Microsoft.

PBL will retain a 25% share in the company, with both Packer and ceo John Alexander remaining on the board.

Sports and entertainment ticket provider Ticketek and the Acer Arena, a Sydney-based indoor entertainment venue, have also been purchased by PBL Media from PBL for $210 million.

Says CVC partner Adrian MacKenzie: "PBL Media has world class media assets. We believe there are a number of exciting initiatives to add value to the business."

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff