PBL Media to Sell Its Non-Core Assets

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 27 July, 2009 - 05:53

PBL Media (PBL), a company that is engaged in media and publishing industry is about to test the market for a float of $450 million for carsales.cim.au website. The company owns 50% of the site. The speculation is there that PBL might consider selling Ticktek as well, a ticketing agency that is another non-core asset of the company. PBL decided to offload Ticketek and carsales.com.au as a part of its initiatives to reduce its debt which is worth of $3.5 billion.

A similar proposal of floatation was presented two years back in 2007. However, later the plan was abandoned due to the severe global financial crisis. The recent improvement of the overall economy has motivated the company to reintroduce the float.

49.7 percent of carsales is owned by PBL Media that recorded an earning worth of $39 million before interest and tax for the last full year. Ticketek has recorded $21 million worth of earning in 2007-08. According to market analysts, the sales will allow PBL to repay debt to closer to $3 billion.

Even though the PBL authority claimed that the company is on the right track, in reality things are looking a bit gloomy for the company as Nine Network and ACP magazines, owned by PBL are going through difficult times in a weaker advertising market. So far the rating share of Nine overall dropped 0.7 percent in 2009 comparing with its position in the same period a year back. ACP magazine business also took a hit due to a considerable drop in the number of advertising pages as well as because of a fall of circulations for the magazines. In 2008, CVC Asia Pacific, the owner of PBL Media was forced to pump in $335 million worth of new capital for the company in order to convince the banks to relax the convents regarding its debt.

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