MediaWorks' hedge fund owner Oaktree has hired an adviser to sell the business, according to reports across the Tasman.

Adviser Moelis is a global independent investment bank, with close ties to the hedge fund community, that provides financial advisory services to corporations.

A MediaWorks spokesperson responded saying that the Australian reports weren't accurate in terms of the role Moelis would be playing.

"Moelis have been engaged to help us navigate the refinancing of our debt which expires this year," the spokesperson said.


"This is a standard process for many organisations and it's business as usual for MediaWorks."

The Australian reported earlier today it was possible that an Aussie broadcaster might be interested in purchasing the business.

This is not the first time Australian media companies have expressed interest in the business.

There was speculation last year that Oaktree had received an interest from Australia's Southern Cross Media for the potential purchase of MediaWorks' radio arm.

However, Oaktree declined the advance due to a reluctance to be left with only the TV arm, which is far less lucrative than the radio side of the business.

The MediaWorks radio arm, made up of nine brands, commands the biggest radio network audience in the country and has remained hugely profitable at a time when TV has struggled with digital disruption.

Given the strength of the radio arm, MediaWorks hasn't struggled for potential suitors in recent years, particularly among those interested in adding a radio platform to their business.

Fairfax Media, Sky TV and TVNZ have all been rumoured as considering a potential purchase of the business.


Last year, there was further speculation that Bauer Media was interested in acquiring the media company. This was, however, rebutted by Bauer chief executive Paul Dykzeul, who told the Herald Bauer had not lodged an expression on interest to purchase the media company.

Similarly to Southern Cross Media, it was suggested that Bauer was more interested in radio network rather than the whole business.

Oaktree became a debt-holder of the free-to-air broadcaster in 2012, buying $125 million of the group's outstanding loans at a reported discounted of 50 per cent. Thereafter, in 2015, Oaktree completed its takeover of MediaWorks Investments, with filings to the Companies Office confirming it had taken 100 per cent ownership of the media company.

MediaWorks Timeline

June 2013
Banks and lenders, owed $700m, tip MediaWorks into receivership.

November 2013
MediaWorks exits receivership and is now owned by lenders including banks and private equity firms.


August 2014
Former NZX boss Mark Weldon appointed as chief executive.

May 2015
Oaktree Capital, which acquired 41 per cent of the company's debt, takes over the company after upping its stake to 78 per cent, triggering a $8.7m bonus for directors and executives.

May 2016
Weldon announces his resignation from the network.

August 2016
Michael Anderson appointed chief executive of the company.

- This story was updated after publication to include commentary from MediaWorks.