TMS television & media services limited

agm yesterday

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    The Fin Review coverage of the TMS annual general yesterday noted that Tony Hartnell suggested that final details of the restructure will probably not be settled until February.

    Lots more quiet accumulation time......bugger it.

    This from AAP yesterday

    AAP News - 28.11.02 18:59

    TMS

    By Karen Michelmore

    SYDNEY, Nov 28 AAP - Struggling Television & Media Services is close to striking a deal to save itself.

    Facing shareholders for the first time since TMS admitted in September it faced an uncertain future, chairman Tony Hartnell said talks to sell Val Morgan were "extremely advanced".

    "That will ensure the survival of the basic television business," he told shareholders.

    "The television business (also) needs to be recapitalised to ensure it's a thriving, sufficiently funded business in the future."

    TMS is in talks to sell its loss-making Val Morgan Cinema Advertising business to Australia's three major cinema exhibitors, and with banks to recapitalise its remaining Global Television unit.

    Mr Hartnell said TMS had held "hundreds of hours" of talks with the banks.

    "I come before you without a final done deal but very close to a final done deal on both the sale of Val Morgan Australia and the recapitalisation."

    Mr Hartnell said the company should be in a position to put the restructure of the group to a vote of shareholders by the end of February.

    In September, TMS warned significant uncertainty existed about whether it could continue to operate as a going concern after earlier shocking investors with a $76 million full year net loss, including $67.5 million in writedowns.

    It also said it had incurred a negative operating cash flow of

    $2.2 million during the 2001/02 financial year, and breached a number of bank covenants.

    Last month, TMS unveiled a major restructure, with plans to transfer Val Morgan to the nation's three major exhibitors - Hoyts, Greater Union and Village - in return for release from liabilities from crippling long-term cinema rental agreements.

    It also announced plans for a rights issue.

    TMS shareholders have watched their company's share price slide from 58 cents at the beginning of calendar 2002, to just 3.5 cents today.

    "We have had an extremely unhappy year," said Mr Hartnell, who faced a grilling from frustrated shareholders.

    Meanwhile, he said the Global Television business was

    "effectively on budget".

    Chief financial officer Ross Pearson said Global Television's earnings this year were "broadly in line with last year".

    He said there was a "seasonality" to the television business, which was coming off its peak winter period and was expected to slow in December and January.

    Mr Hartnell said the group was in also in talks to sell its South American business, which was profitable in the first three months of the new financial year.

    TMS' debt was currently around $58 million, Mr Pearson said.

    AAP km/tb/sb


    and this from todays AFR

    Hartnell hits a tough room

    Regular meetings with Television & Media Services' bankers appeared to have put its chairman, Tony Hartnell, in a chipper mood as he hosted the embattled group's annual meeting in Sydney.

    But given the 94 per cent fall in the share price and unhappy bunch of shareholders, he might have been more careful.

    After Hartnell threw the meeting open to questions, an elderly shareholder began a question stating that major shareholder Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd had paid more than $1 for most of its TMS shares - now worth 3.5¢.

    "I wish you wouldn't remind them," Hartnell interjected with a half-chuckle.

    But the shareholder didn't see the humour. "Well, my average entry price is $1.40," came the response, which made Hartnell's grin vanish quickly.


 
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