ARN & TRN in ownership speculation

Staff Writer

Following the extraordinary events a few weeks ago which saw its board virtually collapse, APN News & Media is considering options to to reduce its sizeable debt to a more manageable level.

APN owns 50% of the Australian Radio Network and the (New Zealand ) Radio Network, and is carrying around nearly half a billion dollars in debt.

There was strong conflict at board level as to how to address this earlier this year, resulting in the resignation of a number of board members and the then CEO of the company, Brett Chenoweth.

Now, a scenario is being explored which would involve an 'asset swap'.

This would result in APN News and Media increasing their 50% stake in the Australian Radio Network, and TRN (New Zealand) to 100% ownership, in return for its 50% share in APN Outdoor and Adshel moving to Quadrant Private Equity and Clear Channel.

Should a deal be progressed, this would leave the new APN News and Media, holding as its sole asset the ARN and TRN groups. The company would have a strong balance sheet and, should they be inclined, be in a financial position to pursue acquisitions in the radio sector to expand the ARN and TRN groups.

APN News and Media has refused to comment on the speculation, however they have confirmed that the scenario is an option being considered.


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