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Sunraysia TV rejects PBL offer for C9 Perth

SUNRAYSIA Television Ltd, the operator of Channel Nine in Perth, has rejected a $136.3 million bid from James Packer’s PBL Media Pty Ltd, recommending instead a $163.2 million offer from Bruce Gordon’s WIN Corporation Ltd for its principal asset. Eva Presser’s family company paid Bond Media Group $95 million for Swan Television and Radio Broadcasters Pty Ltd in 1989. The station operates as an independent affiliate of the Nine Network, which is operated by PBL’s 50 per cent owned spin-off vehicle, PBL Media. Ms Presser controls just over 49.7 per cent of Sunraysia’s stock, while WIN owns 44.6 per cent of the group, yet Mr Gordon has never held a seat on the company board. The company accepted a takeover approach from PBL in February, and announced plans to distribute proceeds of the deal to eligible shareholder via an off-market buy-back. Last month, WIN-associated ENT Pty Ltd won orders in the NSW Supreme Court to adjourn a Sunraysia general meeting called to approve PBL’s offer, before launching its own bid. The company has indicated that the key terms and conditions of the PBL and WIN offers were essentially the same, with both companies offering cash. “The directors of Sunraysia have determined that the revised WIN offer is a superior proposal to the sale of Swan TV to PBL Media under the PBL Media Agreement,” Sunraysia said in a statement. “Even allowing for the break fee of $1,363,600, which may be payable by Sunraysia as a result of the Sunraysia board recommending that shareholders vote in favour of the WIN Transaction in the absence of a superior proposal, the cash consideration (net of the break fee) under the WIN transaction is still some 18.7 per cent higher than the cash consideration offered under the PBL Media Transaction.” Late last week, Sunraysia shares were trading at $14. - Andrew Hobbs

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