On Friday, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) held its AGM, a week after news broke that the brand was the subject of a takeover bid by ARN Media and private equity investor Anchorage Capital.
Addressing shareholders, Chair Rob Murray wasted no time in addressing the bid, saying “while we had no knowledge of the proposal before receiving it last week, we are not surprised that potential acquirers are interested in SCA’s assets.”
“The proposal we have received from ARN and Anchorage is complex and highly conditional. Our Board and executive team are assessing it carefully to work out whether it could create additional value for our shareholders and whether the proposed terms are in our shareholders’ best interests. Since receiving the proposal last week, we have set up sub-committees of our Board and management to consider the proposal, and our financial and legal advisers have held initial discussions with the Consortium’s advisers.”
Before turning his attention away from the bid, Murray concluded that “I understand many of you will be interested to hear more about our progress in assessing the proposal. However, we remain at an early stage and there is nothing further we can tell you today.
“We will, of course, update our shareholders if there are material developments in our discussions with the Consortium. In the meantime, let me assure you that our focus in considering the proposal and in continuing to operate our business is on growing value for our shareholders.”
CEO and Managing Director, John Kelly followed, telling the room that SCA’s annualised cost base will be reduced by more than $15 million, with net savings of more than $10 million to be realised in the current financial year.
Kelly also told the room that he anticipates that total cost growth will be below CPI for the full year.