Seven West Media (SWM) has basically ruled itself out of challenging Nine for Fairfax Media with a rival bid, despite originally being tipped as the more likely dance partner of the publisher.
SWM was reported to have been in discussions with Fairfax about a potential merger back in April, as Nine appeared to have fallen out of contention.
However, Nine has proven it was never out of the race, and speculation has since been brewing that SWM will be forced to partner up with News Corp in order to survive.
However, the chief executive of SWM’s parent company, Ryan Stokes (pictured above), said in an interview with The Australian that there was no pressure to do a deal with a media company in response to Nine’s takeover of Fairfax.
“We don’t have a competitive concern,” he said. “We’ve got a strong business and we will continue to build on that.”
Stokes told The Australian he was confident of SWM flourishing without having to resort to a merger or acquisition, and would only look at doing such things if the growth rationale was strong and it made sense strategically.
Stokes’ view was echoed by SWM chief executive Tim Worner at the ThinkTV earlier this week.