Packer to sell Foxtel stake

Australian billionaire James Packer plans to sell his 25 per cent stake in pay TV operator Foxtel, worth about $1 billion, to fund a takeover of casino group Echo Entertainment to form a $10 billion gaming giant, according to Australian newspaper reports.

Packer has appointed UBS joint global head of investment banking, Matthew Grounds, to negotiate the sale of his 50.1 per cent stake in Consolidated Media Holdings , which holds the Foxtel stake, and Packer wants A$3.60 a share.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which owns 25 per cent of Foxtel, would get first rights to buy the Packer interest. Seven West Media has also expressed interested. Telstra, which holds 50 per cent of Foxtel, may face regulatory hurdles.

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