Seven West Media’s directors will host an urgent meeting on Monday morning to decide whether to put a sweetener on the table for Prime Media Group as fears mount that disgruntled shareholders in the regional broadcaster might scupper the takeover deal.
The board meeting comes less than two weeks ahead of the shareholder vote on December 19, with Prime set to meet with Bermuda-based billionaire Bruce Gordon on Tuesday. Mr Gordon, the owner of rival WIN TV, has an aggregate 19.5 per cent interest in Prime and 11.6 per cent voting power.
Kerry Stokes’ Seven has been meeting with shareholders since plans for the $64 million takeover deal were announced, but there have been growing concerns among executives at the media organisations that Australian Community Media executive chairman Antony Catalano might move to block the deal.
Prime shareholders get 0.4582 shares in Seven for each share they hold under the current terms, but independent expert Lonergan Edwards & Associates’ report said the deal was “not fair but … reasonable” and valued the shares at between 21¢ and 24¢, above the 18.3¢ to 20.6¢ price offered.