Rebel shareholders move against SCA chair Robert Murray

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 13 March 2024
Credit: Mark Leishman

ARN Media's failed tilt at competitor SCA has turned into a public fight between SCA shareholders and its board of directors.

Spheria Asset Management, a significant shareholder in SCA, has given notice it will try to remove the broadcaster's chairman, Robert Murray.

The funds manager, holding more than more than 5% of the company's shares, today gave notice that it intends to call a general meeting of shareholders to vote to remove Murray.

At the centre of the stoush is the $330 million bid by competitor ARN Media and fund manager Anchorage Capital Partners to takeover SCA.

The bid was first made in October last year and the dissident shareholders believe the "protracted negotiations" put the offer at risk. 

Previous reports had shareholders Allan Gray and Ubique Asset Management also taking aim at the board. 

The current directors of SCA last week rejected the takeover proposal, saying it was "not in the best interests" of SCA shareholders. 

However, SCA was "willing to consider any revised proposal".

SCA says mutual due diligence work shows "fundamental changes" to the economics of the proposal, including an increase in the leverage and reduction in the earnings base of a new company being formed.

This had "significantly reduced" the value of the proposal to SCA shareholders. 

SCA is currently tightening costs with revenue and profit under pressure from a "challenging" advertising market.

The company last month reported revenue down 2.9% to $252.6 million for the half year to December and net profit after tax at $4.4 million, a drop of 71.1%. 

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