The consolidation of Australian media appears to be gathering momentum with Nine Network buying nearly 10% of Southern Cross Austereo and Telstra hotly tipped to sell its 50% stake in Foxtel.
Speculation around Telstra’s move to sell out of the pay-TV operator emerged on the same day that Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein stepped down and was replaced by News Corp CEO Peter Tonagh.
The Australian Financial Review reports Telstra is considering a $4.5bn initial public offering (IPO) or sale of its 50% stake to fellow shareholder News Corp Australia.
Mumbrella understands one scenario might see News Corp fold-in Fox Sports before also moving to IPO.
The news of the potential sale comes on the same day that Nine Entertainment bought a major strategic stake in regional broadcaster Southern Cross Austereo.
Nine confirmed it has acquired 9.9% of shares in the regional broadcaster, which also operates the Hit and TripleM radio networks, from Macquarie Group at $1.15, in a move that is set to fuel speculation about a potential merger should the government’s media reform package pass parliament.
The shares were sold by the Macquarie Group which offloaded a 15.7% stake, worth $130 million at $1.08 each.
Earlier this week, an exclusive negotiating period between SCA and its affiliate metro broadcaster Network Ten expired.