The Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) share price was relatively unmoved today after speculation emerged the company may purchase the WIN Corporation.
After edging slightly higher throughout the day, the Nine share price closed flat at $3.00 per share. In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished the day down 0.84%.
Let’s take a closer look.
Nine wants a WIN
The Australian is reporting Nine Entertainment is in talks with WIN chair Bruce Gordon about absorbing his business into Australia’s largest publicly listed media company. WIN Corporation owns the WIN regional television network, Crawford publications, and several local radio stations.
It is reported Gordon sold his shares in Prime Media Group Limited (ASX: PRT) to the owners of Rural Press Ltd. That move coming, allegedly, as Gordon looks to focus his attention on a potential deal with Nine. The Australian also reported that Rural Press is looking to take over Prime Media.
The article claims Gordon will be paid in scrips (i.e. a promissory note for shares in Nine). The paper speculates the deal could be worth anywhere between $50 million to $100 million.
Gordon, through company Birketu Pty Ltd, already has a 15% stake in Nine Entertainment. The Australian claims any deal will likely see Gordon own enough shares to be elevated to the board. If this were the case, it would be yet another change to the revolving door of the Nine board.
If Nine were to purchase WIN, it would likely end its affiliation deal with Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL).
As previously reported, Nine is in the process of replacing long-time CEO Hugh Marks. Marks, whose tenure ends at the end of the month, is being replaced by Mike Sneesby. Sneesby is the soon-to-be-former head of Stan Australia.
Nine has been delivering results to its investors. Channel Nine show Married at First Sight is currently the highest-rated program on Australian TV. On top of this, a Nielsen report from January, as reported by Mediaweek, listed nine.com.au, the Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age as the number 2, 5, and 8 most viewed news websites in Australia, respectively.
Nine Entertainment share price snapshot
Since its merger with Fairfax Holdings, the Nine company has been in its strongest position yet. The share price has increased 114.5% on this time last year. Just last week, the media conglomerate broke its 52-week share price record, twice!
Given its current valuation, Nine Entertainment has a market capitalisation of $5.1 billion.