Seven in $440m capital raising to alleviate debts

By By Wenlei Ma | 16 July 2012
Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Seven West Media (SWM) has suspended trading on the ASX ahead of a $440 million capital raising to pay down its debt as the ad market trends downwards.

SWM's net debt at the end of June was $1.87 billion and should drop to approximately $1.44 billion after the capital raising.

The media company is offering 333 million new shares at $1.32 per share. Existing Seven shares closed at $1.62 on Friday and will recommence trading on Thursday.

SWM's two largest shareholders, Seven Group Holdings and KKR which holds 33.2% and 11.8% respectively, are expected to take up their share of the entitlement offer - KKR through the retail entitlement - as will SWM directors.

In the capital raising presentation issued to the ASX, SWM said the wider advertising market has trended below the previous year and believes it will continue to do so in the near term.

It said: “The amount of advertising revenue generated by SWM is dictated by advertising market conditions. Since businesses generally reduce or relocate their advertising budgets during economic recessions or downturns, the strong reliance upon advertising revenue by SWM makes its operating results susceptible to prevailing economic conditions.”

SWM owns assets across TV in Seven Network, newspapers in The West Australian, magazines in Pacific Magazines and digital in Yahoo!7.

Its TV rival, Ten Network Holdings, also undertook a capital raising recently, which aimed to bolster its coffers by $200 million.

SWM has expects it financial year 2012 full year underlying  operating earnings before interest and tax to be approximately $473 million, marginally above its previous guidance of between $460 million and $470 million. The board will pay dividends of 6.0 cents per share in October and April.

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