Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has made a $2 billion takeover offer for James Packer’s Australia’s Consolidated Media Holdings as Packer exits media in favour of casinos. Packer indicated he would accept the offer in the absence of a higher bid for the stakeholder in Foxtel. Packer owns 50.1 per cent of ACMH.
For News Corp, which announced major cost and job cuts in Australia this week, a successful bid would double its stake in Australia’s dominant pay-TV business Foxtel to 50 per cent, and give it 100 percent of content provider Fox Sports.
Shares in Consolidated Media jumped 10 percent to A$3.39, just below the A$3.50 a share offer, which was pitched at a 15 per cent premium to the last close.
A sale would see Packer all but exit a media empire built up by his father Kerry Packer and grandfather Sir Frank Packer. It retains a 10 per cent stake in television company Ten Network.
“My family has a long history in media but I am a pragmatist. This is a good deal,” Packer was quoted as saying from London by the Australian Financial Review.