Report: ITV in discussion on Seven Studios

Reports today suggest Seven West Media may be looking to sell off other assets as part of its push to drive down debt.

The Age claims Britain’s ITV Studios, Disney and Comcast’s NBC Universal are all in talks about buying production arm Seven Studios. Led by Therese Hegarty, it is estimated at about $400 million.

SWM has appointed investment bank Morgan Stanley to look at the business and set it up for a potential buyer or partner.

Following half yearly results, JP Morgan analyst Eric Pan told The Age “It is interesting they actually broke out expenses for Seven Studios for the first time.

“That could be a first step to potentially attract suitors.”

According to the article, the talks are about a range of potential ways to work together, including as a  a joint-venture, but are not advanced.

Meanwhile the Australian Financial Review claims Seven has approached Nine about a potential sale of  TX Australia, the joint venture that owns broadcast towers.

TX Australia has 67 sites across the country and its infrastructure providers broadcast in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Seven and Nine paid $22m for 10’s share of the joint venture, triggered by a buy-out clause after went into administration.

Seven is currently looking to sell Pacific Magazines to Bauer Media as it seeks to reduce its $541.5 million debt, while shares have dipped to 19c.

B&T has reported Seven is also reviewing the Seven West Ventures portfolio, which includes investments in lender SocietyOne, GP booking platform Health Engine and online job marketplace Airtasker.

CEO James Warburton has previously said all assets were on the table.

13 Comments:

  1. Being blunt the main source of seven’s (TV) investment value is: 1) News operation and 2) there Intellectual property (i.e. TV formats) that they own via 7Studio. If they do sell there in house production they will have minimal value for me as a shareholder left.
    Distributing foreign content or content made by third parties locally in Australia might be cheaper on the short term. But it does not bring the same returns that an owned in-house property could when you can gain more revenue (ancillary revenue from sales, merchandising, licencing etc) from other source beside ad sales.
    If they don’t have owned IP they only really have a distribution platform that will not have long term business model in its current form. The only way I would approve this sale if it comes to a shareholder vote is if it eliminates all of seven’s debt, I am sceptical that it could attract such a price. I’ll…

  2. Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

    Be interesting if ITV do buy it as Home and Away airs on ViacomCBS owned Channel 5, who outbid ITV for it 20 years ago, also with ITV having Coronation Street and Emmerdale maybe Seven could get them back on even if in a replay deal.

  3. Just looking at the pic and remembering the ‘refresh and rebranding’ from the upfronts, has this already happened? I can’t see anything different on air at 7. It all looks the same to me.

  4. Wow Seven is looking like a desperate garage sale about 4pm Saturday arvo when all the sellers want to do is get the hell outta there and get rid of all the broken bits and pieces …potential bargains here for vultures I would say…

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