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  • A big day of news for both Seven West Media (SWM) and Prime Media (PRT) as the ACCC announced they won’t oppose Prime’s acquisition by Seven.
  • The Scheme meeting to vote on the merger is happening in Sydney tomorrow, but Prime say it’s unlikely to be approved.
  • Two major Prime shareholders will reportedly vote against the merger.
  • The two shareholders collectively hold 26 percent of shares, enough to stop the merger from happening.
  • Prime have also confirmed Chairman John Hartigan will step down from the role following the meeting.
  • And Seven have announced CFO Warwick Lynch will step down next year, replaced by Jeff Howard.
  • Seven West are up a slight 1.4 per cent today, trading at 35 cents a piece
  • And Prime Media are up 5.4 per cent, trading at 19.5 cents each

The ACCC will not oppose Seven West Media’s (SWM) proposed acquisition of Prime Media Group (PRT).

The ACCC approved the deal on the basis that Seven will divest both Spirit and RedFM radio networks to a third party in order to meet requirements of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

Their investigation focused on regional WA which is covered by both Prime and Seven. ACCC Chair Rod Sim’s said they,

“considered the likely impact on competition in providing local news and content to audiences in regional WA,” he said.

“We found that Seven West Media’s largely weekly regional newspapers and Prime’s weeknightly TV bulletins generally cover different news stories,” he said.

“We also looked at the likely impact on advertisers and news consumers across a number of different media markets, and concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition or choice for advertisers and consumers,” he told the market.

Despite the positive ACCC investigation outcome, Prime’s acquisition by Seven still remains uncertain, after recent media reports indicated two major Prime Shareholders plan on voting down the deal.

That voting will happen tomorrow, when Prime shareholders attend a scheme meeting in Sydney for Seven West’s acquisition of 100 per cent of the Prime shares.

However, the two shareholders who will reportedly turn down the deal, Australian Community Media executive chairman Antony Catalano and WIN TV owner Bruce Gordon, will both not be in attendance.

The two shareholders collectively control 26 per cent of Prime, where 75 per cent is required for the merger to happen.

And today Prime today announced they believed the Scheme was unlikely to be approved.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported this morning that Mister Catalano indicated he and Bruce Gordon believed the deal was “unfair”.

Prime today also confirmed that Chairman John Hartigan will step down from the position following the Scheme meeting.

And an update of his replacement will be provided.

Seven have also today announced Chief Financial Officer Warwick Lynch will leave the role, replaced by Jeff Howard who starts on January 20, 2020.

Seven’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton made the announcement today, stating:

“I am delighted to welcome Jeff to the business. His extensive experience in ASX listed markets and track record of delivering in complex, multi-faceted roles makes him the ideal successor to Warwick Lynch,” he told the market.

“Jeff’s immense depth of experience and exposure acrossthe broad media industry and his achievements with M&A will be a great addition to Seven West Media as we continue our hunger to transform the company,” he added.

Seven West are up a slight 1.4 per cent today, trading at 35 cents a piece at 2:00pm (AEDT).

And Prime Media are up 5.4 per cent, trading at 19.5 cents each at 2:00pm (AEDT).

PRT by the numbers
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