KKR Sells 12% Stake in Seven West Media for $255 Million

KKR & Co. (KKR) sold its 12 percent stake in Australia’s largest free-to-air broadcaster Seven West Media Ltd. (SWM), ending an investment that began in 2006.

KKR, the private equity firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, sold its entire holding at A$2.21 per share, Seven West said in a regulatory statement today. That puts the value of the holding at about A$261 million ($255 million), based on the 11.8 percent stake KKR declared at the time of the broadcaster’s July 2012 capital raising.

Seven West, controlled by billionaire Kerry Stokes via a chairmanship and the 34 percent stake held by his investment company Seven Group Holdings Ltd. (SVW), fell by the most in 11 months, slipping 7.9 percent to A$2.10 at the close in Sydney. The company, which broadcasts Gator Boys and Grey’s Anatomy, has gained 28 percent this year, compared with a 11 percent advance for the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index.

“The pressure of funds as the term of the fund comes to an end and Australian currency pressures” were cited by Seven West in a separate statement announcing KKR’s decision to quit the investment.

Justin Reizes, the head of KKR’s Australian business who will remain on Seven West’s board until November, didn’t mention the currency in the statement. He said the firm’s holding since 2006 was “at the longer end” of its favored five- to seven-year investment period.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anjali Cordeiro at acordeiro2@bloomberg.net

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