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laurie

Austar Maybe Taken Over By Foxtel!

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Regional pay-television company Austar United Communications Ltd has again attracted the attention of pay-TV company Foxtel, with billionaire James Packer and Foxtel chief Kim Williams behind the push, according to a report in The Australian.

Austar's majority-owner, the US-based pay-TV and broadband company Liberty Global, last year said a tie-up with Foxtel made good strategic sense, but Foxtel's "relatively convoluted" ownership structure muddied the waters.

Foxtel is half-owned by Telstra Corporation Ltd, while News Corporation and the Packer-backed Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd each hold a 25 per cent stake.

According to The Australian, all three Foxtel shareholders are open to an Austar deal, and preliminary talks are underway.

Austar made news yesterday for selling its wireless spectrum to NBN Co, the company behind the broadband network.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf...ent&src=hp5

cheers laurie

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Will still have poor equipment just new owners as just the owners names running the business would change.Mind you

then we maybe heard if we decided to quit. ^_^

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Does that mean Foxtel viewers will get Al Jazeera or CCTV?

Nope. Neither of those two channel owners are prepared to pay for cable network access leasing so Foxtel won't allow them to broadcast on the platform. You'd have to get a 3rd party FTA sat receiver to view Al Jazeera if Foxtel took over.

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I'm currently watching speedhd in an austar area ;-) and loving it!

Please explain \end Pauline Hanson voice

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Pay-TV operator Foxtel has talked to rival Austar's main shareholder, Liberty Global, about a potential takeover offer, Austar said after a newspaper reported Foxtel's owners had dropped their opposition to a bid.

"Austar understands that verbal discussions have taken place between Foxtel and Liberty in relation to a possible acquisition of Austar," it said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Shares in Austar soared on the news, rising 24.77 per cent to $1.41 at 1025 AEDT, against a 0.7 per cent fall in the benchmark index.

The statement followed earlier reports in Fairfax newspapers that Foxtel's owners – including News Corporation and Telstra – had agreed in principle to back a $2 billion bid for Austar.

The Australian Financial Review , citing unnamed sources, said there was still no firm offer on the table, but the owners had dropped their previous reservations over such a takeover.

The newspaper said Telstra, which owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns 25 per cent, had dropped their opposition to Foxtel taking on debt to buy Austar.

The other major shareholder in Foxtel, Australia's top pay-TV firm, is Consolidated Media Holdings, largely owned by media moguls James Packer and Kerry Stokes. Stokes' interest in Consolidated Media is through his Seven Group.

"The three owners have agreed in principle, but there is no firm approval for a firm bid by Foxtel," the newspaper said.

Details on the shape of a bid have yet to be worked out.

Austar's largest shareholder is US-based Liberty Global which indicated it would be open to a bid, the newspaper said.

The AFR said Foxtel's three major shareholders were now interested in Austar, attracted by a potential $70 million in cost savings. Such a deal would also help defend Foxtel against new competition from free-to-air digital TV channels and Internet TV, the paper said.

Talk of Foxtel lining up a bid for Austar adds to a shake-up in the sector, after West Australian Newspaper Holdings' bid for Seven Media Group, Southern Cross Media's $741 million bid for radio group Austereo, and Lachlan Murdoch's and James Packer's move to take control of Ten Network.

link to story http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf...ent&src=hp4

cheers laurie

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Well, let's hope it actually happens this time. It's a story that's been emerging and re-emerging since 2005. Certainly Austar have been operating on a minimal investment/maximum return manner for years, presumably to improve their balance sheet when seeking a Buyer at a premium price.

Kim Williams Foxtels CEO on the Business Channel wouldn't talk about it, stating it was company policy to never divulge to the media any info of this nature. I suppose the fact he didn't deny it, may actually have said something. Why would Foxtel confirm negotiations are on-going? To do so could only serve to drive up Austar's share price/value.

Edited by ozbrit

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If Foxtel did take over we'd probably see the changes come slowly probably the first major change we would see is Foxtel on xbox and t-box become available to regional areas then eventually rebranding to foxtel.

Its a win for the consumer but for the installers not so good because Foxtel pay bad.

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Just so long that we don't get with the horribly arranged Foxtel plans, i'll be happy.

I've just compared the package we have with Austar to a similar Foxtel item. We pay $96.75 for the main sports package & HD. With the Foxtel Sports HD package for $100 we get all what we have now plus - Showtime premier, Showcase, Showtime action, Movie one, Starpics ,more HD content, Animal Planet.

Sounds like a whole lot more to me and for only the cost of a couple of bananas :o)

Edited by ozbrit

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Sooner the better, but for me half the problems are the channels themselves which means nothing will change.

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