MediaWorks Not For Sale

01 September 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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MediaWorks Not For Sale

The partner of Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital, Mike Hill has released a statement quelling market suspicion that its New Zealand television and radio business, MediaWorks is up for sale. Ironbridge was explicit that contrary to market talk, it was not in discussion with pay TV operator Sky Network TV.

"Ironbridge has not commenced a sale process in regard to its investment in MediaWorks,'' Sydney-based Mike Hill said in the statement.

"Ironbridge has not approached or engaged with Sky TV in regard to it acquiring this investment nor has Sky TV approached Ironbridge,'' he said.

As such, Ironbridge was "fully supportive of the management and staff of MediaWorks who are performing well in a challenging operating environment''.

Speculation of a sale had be ignited as a result of MediaWorks' debt changing hands. The Dublin-based Allied Irish Banks sold MediaWorks debt at around 70 cents in the dollar to a group of Asian hedge funds.

In 2007, Ironbridge bought the once-listed MediaWorks for about $790 million. It is thought that at MediaWorks' last filing with the Companies Office its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation came to $50.1 million for the year to August 31, 2010.

The company comprises the national TV stations TV3 and Four, while MediaWorks Radio operates out of 23 markets and consists of the nationwide brands More FM, RadioLive, Solid Gold, The Edge, The Breeze, The Rock, LiveSport and Kiwi FM. It also owns many regional stations including Mai FM in Auckland, Northland and Rotorua, Times FM in Orewa, Radio Dunedin, Coromandel FM and George FM. MediaWorks Interactive is the new media division of MediaWorks that serves 18 websites and a mobile network.

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