James Packer not out of media just yet

By By David Blight | 17 August 2012
James Packer.

Despite all the talk of James Packer ditching the media game with the upcoming sale of Consolidated Media, the businessman has taken a 5% stake in online transaction site Trade Me.

The Packer family's Ellerston Capital has bought a 5.18% stake in the profitable New Zealand auction site.

His move comes after the site's former owner Fairfax partially floated the site.

Many in the industry have suggested Packer is looking to withdraw from the media business to focus more on his interests in gambling.

In recent months, Packer has been in talks to sell his controlling stake in Consolidated Media, which owns 25% of Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports Group.

News Limited has been touted as the most likely buyer.

His impending departure from the media sector was the reason why he was removed from the AdNews Power 50 list, released last week.

However, Packer's Trade Me play indicates a desire to keep a toe in the sector.

This is not Packer's first foray into the space. Last year, Ellerston Capital bought a stake in DealsDirect.

Online transaction sites are increasingly being viewed as sound investments, particularly as media companies strive to supplement advertising revenue.

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