Mediaworks pays off 'loan' 2 years early
Thu, 04 Oct 2012 3:07p.m.
MediaWorks' subsidiary RadioWorks has repaid the $32.28 million outstanding on a "loan" signed off by former Communications Minister Steven Joyce that allowed the media group to defer payments to the Crown for radio spectrum licences.
The balance of $32.28m of principal plus interest was paid on Wednesday - almost two years ahead of schedule, current minister Amy Adams said in a statement.
MediaWorks had originally owed $43.3m plus GST and had previously made two payments of $11.9m. The Crown charged the private equity-owned company interest of 11.2 percent.
Government officials had recommended against loaning RadioWorks the money, but Mr Joyce, a former owner of RadioWorks, then approved the loan.
Adams said eight broadcasters had chosen to take up a Crown offer of a deferred payment scheme in 2010 for their 20-year spectrum licences.
"The deferred payment scheme was intended to help take the financial pressure off a number of broadcasters during what was a difficult economic period," Adams said. "The scheme has clearly worked well and achieved its objectives."
RadioWorks holds 218 individual licences and was due to complete its payments by October 2014, the statement said. Early payment was an option offered as part of the arrangements.
MediaWorks is owned by Australia's Ironbridge Capital. The broadcaster, whose stable includes TV3 and Four, and radio stations including the Rock and MoreFM, said in August it had written down the value of goodwill by $241.6m in a capital restructure that included US private equity investor Oaktree Capital Management holding a chunk of its debt.
The group's holding company, GR Media Holdings, posted a loss of $305.6m in the year ended August 31, 2011, compared to a loss of $50.5 million a year earlier.
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4/10/2012 6:07:47 p.m.
Gary Wills wrote:
Ironbridge should sell MediaWorks to Britian,s Channel 4. both companies have a similar business model and structure that would better resource MediaWorks. A lot of Channel 4's programmes are broadcast in New Zealand.
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