Oaktree to offload 40pc of Nine stake

One of Nine's major shareholders will offload 40 per cent of its stake in the media company’s imminent float just a year after buying in.

ONE of Nine Entertainment Co's major shareholders will offload 40 per cent of its stake in Nine'’s imminent float just a year after buying into the media company.

US hedge fund Oaktree Capital, which owns 26 per cent of the television, digital and entertainment group, confirmed it is reducing its holding in a sales facility for original investors, which closed last night.

Sources told The Australian that the sales facility raised about $375 million. The float will yield Nine and its owners about $650 million, with the remainder raised through the issue of new shares.

The news comes after The Australian revealed on Monday that major shareholder and hedge fund Apollo Global Management will hold on to its entire stake until at least the second half of next year.

Apollo and Oaktree became major shareholders in Nine last October in a debt-for-equity swap as part of a $3.4 billion recapitalisation of the company.

The float is set to take place on or soon after December 9 and will value Nine in the range of $2.4 billion to $2.9bn.

The board has agreed to split shares on a 4-to-1 basis to reduce the share price to a more manageable number for retail investors.

Shares in Nine have been trading at between $8.20 and $9.20 on the grey market and were trading at $8.69 last week.

Well-placed sources believe Nine may list at about $2.15 a share with an earnings-multiple valuation of about 8.5 times.

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