24/07/2008 - 12:51

Stokes' increases stake in WAN

24/07/2008 - 12:51

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Kerry Stokes's Seven Network Ltd has increased its stake in West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd by about three per cent in a $41 million purchase this morning.

Kerry Stokes's Seven Network Ltd has increased its stake in West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd by about three per cent in a $41 million purchase this morning.

Seven has utilised creep provisions, which allow a company to increase its holding in a target in stages without triggering takeover provisions, to lift its interest from 19.4 per cent to 22.3 per cent.

The increase comes despite Mr Stokes previously saying he would not increase his stake in WAN under the creep provisions.

The company today bought a further four million shares today for $10.25 each, taking its holding to 46.56 million shares, it said in a substantial holding notice filed with the stock exchange.

The special crossing was placed before trading opened and represents a premium to WAN's share price today.

Shares in Seven rose nine cents, or 1.16 per cent, to close at $7.86, while WAN fell nine cents, or 0.98 per cent, to $9.11 after rising as high as $9.76.

Mr Stokes lost a shareholder vote in April to gain two seats on the five-member WAN board, one for himself and another for Seven director Peter Gammell, by removing two non-executive directors.

About 46 per cent of shareholders voted for Mr Stokes's proposal.

WAN chairman Peter Mansell, who received a vote of just over 53 per cent endorsing his place on the board, said he would consider adding at least one extra director, who could be in place before the company's annual general meeting is held later this year.

Mr Stokes has been critical of the newspaper publisher, including what he calls its "self-indulgent" journalism, and has said The West Australian Saturday edition could soon be outsold by News Ltd-controlled The Sunday Times.

Mr Mansell has said WAN is not "a perfect company" and was addressing problems associated with distribution and circulation of its newspaper, The West Australian, following a $210 million investment in new presses.





 

 

 

Kerry Stokes' Seven Network Ltd has boosted its stake in West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd by about three per cent.

In a notice to the stock market, the media network increased its interest from 19.4 per cent to 22.3 per cent, following the purchase of 4 million shares in the market this morning.

It is understood the network had been making smaller purchases on the market over the past few weeks.

The share increase comes three months after Mr Stokes' failed bid to oust WAN's and install himself along with right hand man Peter Gammell and a number of candidates as directors.

Shares in WAN last traded at $9.45 at 15:45 AEST, up 25 cents.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options