APN in trading halt pending capital raising
Feb. 19 (BusinessDesk) - APN News & Media, the Australian publisher of the New Zealand Herald newspaper, has halted trading in its shares pending a capital raising.
The Sydney-based company, which is due to report its first-half earnings today, has requested a halt in trading, “pending the release of a capital raising announcement to be made by the company,” it said in a statement.
The Australian Financial Review today reported the media group will seek between A$100 million and A$150 million to buy out US Clear Channel’s stake in its Australasian radio interests. APN owns half of the Radio Network on both sides of the Tasman, whose stable includes the NewstalkZB network in New Zealand.
Last week APN agreed to sell its unprofitable brandsExclusive online shopping site, having slashed the value of goodwill on the business it acquired in 2012. The media group has been divesting assets in recent months, including its share of an outdoor advertising venture and a suite of magazines in New Zealand.
APN underwent a radical overhaul last year with a board-room shakeout and new chief executive appointment when major shareholders Independent News & Media and Allan Gray Australia baulked at a planned capital raising.
In November last year Irish-based Independent News raised 43 million euros of fresh capital to protect its cornerstone stake in APN and prevent a potential fire-sale to satisfy its lenders.
Shares in dual-listed APN last traded at 49 cents on the NZX and 44 Australian cents on the ASX.