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Sky's the limit on Southern Cross deal: law firm

Sky's the limit on Southern Cross deal: law firm

Clayton Utz advises Southern Cross Media as it was poised last week to complete its planned management internalisation initiative.

SOUTHERN Cross Media, the old Macquarie Media Group, was poised last week to complete its planned management internalisation initiative after the successful refinancing of a $375 million domestic debt facility.

The completion of the initiative has spectators saying the removal of any links to Macquarie should improve the media company’s appeal to investors.

Southern Cross Media Group Ltd in February wrote down the value of its US business and posted a loss for the first half of 2009/10. It posted a $148.07 million loss for the six months to December 31, 2009, compared with a $127.26 million loss in the prior corresponding period.

But these US issues are quarantined, and Southern Cross Media is now celebrating the capital raising from last year as well as the corporatisation of Southern Cross Media Group, which is expected to complete next week.

Clayton Utz, which has advised Southern Cross Media since 2006, worked on the deal. It has congratulated its client on these successes, as well as the successful completion of its internalisation initiative and the refinancing of its business level debt facility on 10 March 2010.

The transactions represent a rare combination of events by virtue of Southern Cross Media Group seeking to restructure many facets of its business at the one time, Clayton Utz said.

“The innovative capital raising structure, a single bookbuild accelerated pro-rata renounceable entitlement offer, represented the first time this new structure had been used by a stapled vehicle, it said in a statement last week.

The corporatisation involves a corporate restructure, including the destapling of the Southern Cross Media Group entities, and restructure of those entities under a single Australian company using a Bermudan scheme of arrangement and Australian trust scheme.

Clayton Utz corporate and M&A partners Karen Evans-Cullen and Toby Ryston-Pratt advised on the internalisation and corporatisation initiatives.

The firm’s equity capital markets partner, Stuart Byrne, advised on the recapitalisation. Banking and financial services partners, Geoff Geha and Alex Schlosser, acted for Southern Cross Media on the refinancing arrangements.

Evans-Cullen and Ryston-Pratt said: "These are novel transactions which presented interesting challenges for our teams and continued Clayton Utz’ longstanding relationship with Southern Cross Media Group.”

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