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ARN ‘still considering options’ for SCA takeover

ARN has posted a short update to investors, saying it “is still considering options in relation to alternative proposals to acquire SCA”.

This comes after SCA knocked back the latest iteration of ARN’s revised takeover bid last week, made after Anchorage pulled out of then long-standing bid.

Under a revised offer, ARN would acquire the same radio assets as before, plus assume 100% ownership of the combined digital audio assets of ARN and SCA.

SCA shareholders would receive up to 0.870 ARN ordinary shares for each fully diluted SCA share, plus would retain their shareholding in SCA, or receive their equivalent shareholding in a newly listed demerged entity that would hold the radio and television assets previously expected to be acquired by ACP under the Consortium Proposal.

SCA rejected this bid, with chair Heith Mackay-Cruise saying “the alternative proposal provides downside for SCA shareholders, even if the execution challenges could be overcome,” which he predicted would be costly.

SCA also blasted Anchorage for the prolonged due diligence that saw them pull out, citing concerns with the profitability of SCA’s regional TV arm.

“Over the past seven months, SCA’s management team and advisers have worked diligently and collaboratively with the Consortium to evaluate the Consortium’s proposal and to enable the Consortium to substantially complete its due diligence,” SCA chair, Heith Mackay-Cruise, said.

“This has required considerable cost and management effort by SCA. It is frustrating that the Consortium has now withdrawn its proposal in circumstances where any potential material concerns should have been identified much earlier in the process.”

At the time, Mackay-Cruise said SCA “remain open to considering proposals that would deliver fair value and be in the best interests of all SCA shareholders.”

ARN said it will keep the market informed “in the event of any material developments.”

On the latest episode of the Mumbrellacast, Mumbrella publisher and former national director of operations and general manager of 2DayFM and Triple M Sydney and former Macquarie Media CEO, Adam Lang, said the recent moves could mean a conclusion is imminent.

“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” Lang said.

“It’s in everybody’s interest to quickly resolve whether something can happen or it cannot. Because obviously it’s an investment of energy and there’s an opportunity cost too.”

Listen to the full Mumbrellacast episode here.

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