Seven West Media has called in a financial advisory company to help the media company restructure its mounting debt.
As reported on The Australian, SWM has brought in Grant Samuel to help with its $859m of net debt.
Grant Samuel is reportedly restructuring SWM’s debt modeling and helping assist with talks with its banks.
According to The Oz, eight banks are understood to exist in the syndicate, including Australia’s four major banks, two Chinese lenders, and one from Singapore and one from Japan.
Some reports suggest Seven’s investors may offload their debt to other parties with existing lenders potentially wary about calling in the loans and taking control of SWM.
It is possible then that the new debt owners would either call in Seven’s loans or destructure the group in a debt-for-equity swap, reports The Oz.
There’s no denying Seven West Media is in trouble.
Last week, it went into a trading halt on the ASX.
SWM shares were trading at $0.064 in late trade last Wednesday, while its shares have since plummeted from a 2007 high of $15.
The company now only has a market value of less than $100 million to support debt of $859 million and, many media analysts agree, it is now ripe for a takeover.
Meanwhile two weeks ago, chief executive James Warburton announced 20 per cent pay cuts at SWM and said job losses were “inevitable”.
The problem for the television side of the business has been exacerbated by the loss of the network’s biggest cash cow, its AFL coverage, and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.
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