A stapled securities structure generally used on infrastructure-type assets was applied to an operating business in the float of the Macquarie Media Group.
Allens Arthur Robinson acted for Macquarie on the deal, and partner Jon North said the use of the structure was a step forward, but had added to the complexities of the transaction, not least of which was explaining the structure to retail investors. Also adding interest to the float was its “partly paid” structure.
Investors paid an initial $2.75 and committed to paying another $2 in 12 months. “It was always the fund’s plan to buy other media assets quickly and put them into the fund structure,” North said.
“The fund can go out and buy assets in the next 12 months and knows it already has the equity to pay. If you were looking at this as an investment, you would have to think ‘this is going to be an active fund’. That appealed to investors.”
The float raised about $950 million, and while it did attract some criticism in the financial press, North said the transaction was simply another example of Macquarie buying an asset, holding it and realising its value by floating it off to the public.
“The Macquarie guys have done a fantastic job of doing that with this business.”
Due diligence issues provided an added challenge to the firm, in terms of volume — Macquarie Media Group’s base asset Macquarie Regional Radioworks has more than 80 radio stations in six states, is the largest operator of commercial radio licenses in Australia and covers 60 per cent of the country’s population outside the major capital cities.