Seven Group will back Seven West Media acquisitions

By Chris Pash | 21 February 2020

Billionaire Kerry Stokes' Seven Group will back Seven West Media's acquisition appetite with funding.

Seven West, 40.2% owned by Seven Group, is looking for deals, both selling assets and buying into media properties.

Seven Group this week booked an impairment charge of a $112.7 million after Seven West Media posted a half year statutory net loss after tax of $66.35 million in a "challenging" advertising market.

Ryan Stokes, CEO of Seven group, says the company will consider providing funding to Seven West Media, saying consolidation is a logical step for the industry.

“We don’t see the business currently requiring funds but should a situation occur with a good opportunity we’d definitely consider it,” Stokes told The Australian.

Seven West Media's James Warburton, appointed CEO in August last year, still has acquisitions at the top of his mind.

But his moves so far -- including his tilt at regional broadcaster Prime Media -- have been frustrated by regulators.

And he is waiting for a final decision from consumer watchdog the ACCC on the sale of Pacific magazines to Bauer.

“We will continue to be creative and apply entrepreneurial thinking," he said when releasing half year results.

"My mandate is to dramatically change the business which means transformative M&A opportunities are very much on the agenda.

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