Unsurprisingly, most of the media chatter about PBL's decision to sell off 50% of its media assets says the decision was made "so it can focus on expanding its international gaming business". Now I know James isn't Kerry. But think back. Kerry was the king of expert timing. He floated ecorp (aka PBL Online) about 6 months before the dot com crash. He cashed out of the stock market just before the 1987 crash. He famously sold Channel Nine to Alan Bond at the peak of Bond's hubris and then bought it back a year later when Bond crashed.
So if this was Kerry selling PBL's media assets I would be asking the following question: What Does Kerry Know That The Rest Of The Market Doesn't Know?
Now, as I said, James isn't Kerry. Maybe he has inherited his patriarch's sixth sense, maybe he hasn't.
But I suggest to you that "so it can focus on expanding its international gaming business" may be the explanation that Packer, and the rest of the media, want the market to think. What other reasons could there be? That the value of the Television and Magazine businesses have peaked? Is that a rationale even worth considering?
Here is your homework today kids: find a mainstream media analysis of the PBL sell-off which asks deep questions about the future value of the television and magazine business.
Austereo, Australia's largest radio network, on the other hand, says the media buying frenzy has totally by-passed it.
"In response to media speculation following recent changes to media ownership laws, Austereo advises that it has not had any approaches from third parties," it said.
Wow, now there's a surprise. No-one is overly-excited about buying a radio business. I wonder why?