The radio plot thickens in SCA takeover bid

By Radioinfo Writer and Editor Jen Seyderhelm

For those of you following along at home the happenings this year in two of Australia’s major radio networks Southern Cross Media Group (SCA) and the Australian Radio Network (ARN) we have:

19 June 2023: ARN spends $38.3 million in an after-market raid to acquire a 14.8% interest in SCA.

21 June 2023: Allan Gray, a fund manager and shareholder in ARN and SCA, reportedly reduces its relevant interest and voting power in SCA from 21.95% to 16.44%.

18 October 2023: ARN and Anchorage Capital Partners Pty Limited (ACP) make a non-binding indicative offer to Southern Cross Media Group Limited (SCA) to acquire 100% of the fully diluted share capital.

SCA that same day confirmed they had received the proposal, recommending shareholders to take no action at this stage due to it being subject to the unanimous recommendation of the SCA Board, due diligence, shareholder and regulatory approvals from both the ACCC and ACMA, and other terms and conditions.

Those terms and condition may have come back to bite ARN today with Keybridge Capital Limited, an investment and financial services company, sending an application to the Takeovers Panel outlining that ARN’s June purchase of the share interest in SCA may have been in breach of the Corporations Act due to the nature of the exchange of shares by Allan Gray.

If this unintentional breach did occur then Keybridge seeks orders from the panel to release the relevant portion of shares (more than 16 million of them) for sale in ASIC, and not allow ARN, or anyone associated with them, to acquire or vote on any of these or any other Southern Cross shares for a further six months afterwards.

We wait to see now if Allan Gray at any relevant time had a voting interest in ARN above 20%.

Separately, and perhaps totally unrelated, both Mix and Hit in Canberra (joint owned by SCA and ARN, but stated to be bought outright by ARN if they were to be successful in their takeover bid) have said on their socials they have a big announcement at 8am tomorrow morning. Maybe it’s all about the secret sound. But maybe not.

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