Singleton makes formal bid for Fairfax radio assets

John Singleton and Mark Carnegie have made a formal bid to buy out Fairfax Media’s 54% stake in Macquarie Media.

The move comes as Fairfax shareholders consider offers for the rest of the company from two foreign investors.

The formal bid from Singleton and Carnegie will trigger a due diligence process which will give Macquarie Media access to its books as the company seeks finance and prepares itself, should the bid be successful.

When Fairfax and Macquarie Radio (now Macquarie Media) merged, Macquarie Radio was the junior partner in the deal, as far as ownership goes, but it gained operations leadership of the business, while Fairfax concentrated on its business restructure and migration from print to digital platforms.

Macquarie Media made $67.9 million in the 6 months to December 2016 and a profit of $13 million (see our previous report).

Even if the Singleton/Carnegie offer is unsuccessful, and Fairfax is sold to another suitor, it will signal to the new owner that Macquarie Media is interested in buying out the radio assets if the new owner is not interested in retaining its share in a radio network. The first bidder, TPG, indicated first that it did not want to buy the radio assets of the company, but later revised its bid to make an offer for all the Fairfax assets.

MML shares closed up this week as the formal offer was made public at the end of the trading day yesterday.


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