Report: Private equity sniffs at Seven West Media

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 15 June 2020

Private equity firms are taking a close look at Seven West Media.

According to one report, Oaktree Capital was turned away from Seven West Media after expressing an interest in buying the media group's debt.

The company has been selling assets -- Pacific Magazines, property in Perth and a regional radio station network --  to pay down debt.

Net debt was last reported to be around $541.5 million compared to a market capitalisation of $223 million with shares last trading at $0.145.

The Sydney Morning Herald: "Industry sources familiar with the discussions said Oaktree, the firm behind the recapitalisation of Nine Entertainment Co in 2012, contacted the Kerry Stokes-controlled broadcaster midway through the coronavirus pandemic with a "loan-to-own" offer."

Seven West Media has been accelerating cost cutting as well as selling assets. 

In an investor presentation last week by the Seven Group, the 40% owner of Seven West, CEO Ryan Stokes said the cost out program for the media group is targeting $90 million by June 30 and another $110 million in the 2021 financial year.

Stokes says the management team has plans to further "deleverage the business and reposition for recovery".

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