27/04/2010 - 08:28

Court approves $3bn Seven-WesTrac deal

27/04/2010 - 08:28

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Kerry Stokes' Seven Network has cleared the final hurdle in its merger with privately-owned industrial equipment business WesTrac, with the Federal Court today approving the $3 billion deal.

Court approves $3bn Seven-WesTrac deal

Kerry Stokes' Seven Network has cleared the final hurdle in its merger with privately-owned industrial equipment business WesTrac, with the Federal Court today approving the $3 billion deal.

Justice Peter Jacobson gave the scheme of arrangements for the union the green light this morning.

"There's nothing to suggest that the unrelated shareholders or the TELYS3 holders voted otherwise than in good faith," Justice Jacobson said in his decision.

"Or they cast their vote for any improper purpose.

"The test of reasonableness appears to be satisfied."

Federal Court approval was the final hurdle in the proposed tie-up.

Seven Network's shareholders consented to the merger of the media company and the Perth-based Caterpillar earthmoving equipment dealer WesTrac at meetings held in Sydney last Tuesday.

Of the total votes cast, 88.7 per cent were in favour.

Mr Stokes, who is executive chairman of Seven Network, could not vote on the related-party transaction.

If approved, the merger was scheduled to become effective on April 29 when Seven Network shares would be suspended from trade on the Australian Securities Exchange, according to the scheme booklet released in March.

The new company, to be called Seven Group Holdings Ltd (SGH) would begin trade on Friday, May 14.

WesTrac is Caterpillar's sole authorised dealer in WA, NSW and the ACT, as well as parts of northeast China.

The company also has a stake in Coates Hire.

Seven Network has a 47 per cent stake in Seven Media Group, which is the joint venture with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts (KKR) that holds the broadcast TV stations and Pacific Magazines stable and 50 per cent of online venture Yahoo!7.

The company's other media assets include a 22 per cent stake in James Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd (which owns half of Fox Sports and 25 per cent of Foxtel) and 23 per cent of West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd.

Shares in Seven gained 11 cents, or 1.43 per cent, to $7.79 by 1022 AEST.

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