Regional news player Anthony Catalano has grabbed almost 20% in regional television broadcaster Prime Media.
Papers lodged with the ASX show Chess Investments, associated with Catalano and his financier partner Alex Waislitz, now holding 19.99% of Prime, up from 14%.
Prime shares closed yesterday almost 12% higher at $0.235.
Catalano and Waislitz, who own regional newspaper network Australian Community Media, bought 18.8 million shares for more than $4.2 million from interests associated with billionaire Bruce Gordon.
Gordon owns Win Corporation, a media group containing WIN Television network, Crawford Productions and local radio stations. He is also a major shareholder in Nine Entertainment with about 14%.
Seven West Media in December 2019 took a 14.9% stake in Prime Media after a proposed merger with the regional broacaster was blocked by two major shareholders (Gordon and Catalano).
In the half year to December, Prime posted a 1% lift in revenue to $91.7 million. Statutory profit after tax was $10.1 million, up 126.9%.
Prime maintained its lead revenue share of 41% in the aggregated regional market of New South Wales and Victoria.
“Prime’s revenue performance for the half-year was encouraging, with national advertisers showing renewed support for regional markets,” the company says.
“However, the national advertising market remains short given the ongoing potential for changes to broadcasting schedules.”
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