CVC Asia Adding Cash to PBL Media

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Private equity group CVC Asia Pacific has agreed to invest A$335 million ($225 million) more in Australia’s PBL Media as part of a recapitalization plan.

Also as part of the plan, PBL’s lenders changed financial covenants relating its A$3.8 billion net debt.

“The great thing about the revised financial structure is we are now in a position to withstand a severe recession, should that eventuate, and we will not have an issue with our financing,” PBL Media Chief Executive Officer Ian Law said in a statement.

He said the recapitalisation of the business and the new covenants would provide sufficient earnings and cashflow headroon to allow PBL to safely trade through the bottom of the current economic cycle.

PBL now has no debt refinancing due until early 2013.

Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd (CMJ.AX), owned by Australian billionaire James Packer and holder of 25 percent of PBL Media, did not participate in the recapitalisation. As a result, Consolidated Media’s shareholding in PBL would drop 0.07 percent.

PBL Media owns Nine Network, formerly Australia’s top TV network, built up by Packer’s father, Kerry. It also owns ACP Magazines, events ticketing service Ticketek, and stakes in other online and television businesses.

The fresh cash infusion would take CVC’s total investment in PBL Media to more than A$1.8 billion.


(Reporting by Denny Thomas;