Despite Prime Media’s two major shareholders kyboshing the Seven takeover deal, chairman John Hartigan has vowed to continue to seek a deal with SWM.
As reported on the SMH, Hartigan (feature image) said after yesterday’s vote on the deal (where shareholders voted 53.5 per cent against the deal): “If you look at the vote, 77 per cent of the proxies that we received before the meeting, the majority of the vote if you exclude Gordon and Catalano supported the deal.”
Hartigan said it showed the tow major shareholders were “out of tune” with the majority of shareholders.
Hartigan also said he was “hugely disappointed” and that it was a “dreadful shame” that Prime’s two major shareholders are “running their own agendas”, suggesting Catalano and Gordon are using the broadcaster as “plaything”.
He added: “Today was to be a life raft for us, and two shareholders have hijacked that opportunity.”
“As far as we’re concerned, Seven has been our partner for a very long time, we will stay very engaged with them. We will continue to pursue every aspect of presenting this deal back to shareholders in some form. We’re committed to it.
“We’re not going to shy away from what’s best for the company because of a couple of bullies,” he said.
Yesterday afternoon it was revealed Seven took the maximum holding, 14.9 per cent stake in the regional broadcaster, without making a full takeover bid for Prime.
Seven had offered to buy Prime for a reported $64 million as part of new CEO James Warburton’s expansion of the TV business.
However, in a statement to the ASX, Prime said: “Based on the proxies received from Prime shareholders to date, the Prime board considers that the scheme is unlikely to be approved by Prime shareholders by the requisite majorities.”