Channel Nine may enlist Macquarie to ready for IPO

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Channel Nine owners Oaktree and Apollo are considering appointing advisors and pursuing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the television network.

Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory division of Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG), is believed to be one of the frontrunners along with investment bank UBS, to win a coveted position of advisor.

While there is no certainty that an IPO is imminent or that it will even occur, Nine’s recent purchase of its Adelaide and Perth offshoots will further increase the already hefty debt load on the balance sheet.

With the latest advertising market statistics showing Seven West Media’s (ASX: SVW) Channel Seven extended its lead over Channel Nine in the 6 months to June and with Channel Nine still well ahead of the third placed Ten Network (ASX: TEN) it might be a clever time for the Oaktree and Apollo to offload the company.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does owns a share in Macquarie Group.

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