Bloomberg News

Seven West Said to Ask Banks for A$2.2 Billion Refinance Plan

September 01, 2011

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Seven West Media Ltd., which owns Australia’s top-rating television network, has asked banks to submit proposals as it seeks to refinance up to A$2.2 billion ($2.4 billion) of debt, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Proceeds will be used to help refinance a A$2.55 billion facility that Seven Media Group signed in February 2007 and which matures in 2013, the person said, asking not to be identified as details are private. Details of the new facility such as pricing and maturity are yet to be determined, the person said.

West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd. brought Seven Media Group earlier this year, creating Australia’s biggest media company. Both companies were chaired by billionaire Kerry Stokes, who now chairs the merged entity. Seven West also owns the nation’s second-largest magazine publisher, Perth’s sole daily newspaper and a half share of the second-most visited web portal in a venture with Yahoo! Inc.

Banks which helped to arrange the 2007 facility include Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and Westpac Banking Corp. were among the some 16 banks also committing funds, the data show.

West Australian Newspapers said it would acquire Seven Media for A$1.98 billion from Seven Group Holdings Ltd. and buyout firm KKR & Co. on Feb. 21. Including assumed debt, the A$4.09 billion offer made it the biggest ever purchase of Australian media assets, Bloomberg data show.

--With assistance from Sarah McDonald in Sydney. Editor: Edward Johnson

To contact the reporter on this story: Katrina Nicholas in Singapore at knicholas2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shelley Smith at ssmith118@bloomberg.net


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