Seven takes control of Unwired

Media company Seven's plan to acquire WiMax spectrum-holders Unwired appears to have been a success, with Seven's various holding companies now holding over 50 percent of Unwired shares.

Media company Seven's plan to acquire WiMax spectrum-holders Unwired appears to have been a success, with Seven's various holding companies now holding over 50 percent of Unwired shares.

Seven made a bid for the fledgling wireless operator in late September, which was later endorsed by the board of Unwired.

Seven has now reported to the ASX that it holds a 53.7 percent in Unwired via its various subsidiaries and interest in other Unwired shareholders.

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Seven's relevant interest in Unwired, because of its various holdings in the likes of Engin, is now more than 50 percent," Unwired CEO David Spence told ZDNet Australia. "That would represent a controlling stake in Unwired."

The final sweetener that got Seven over the 50 percent mark appears to be the broadcaster's agreement late last week to drop some of the conditions around the acquisition and raise the offer from 45 cents to 50 cents per share, regardless of whether it hit a desired milestone of 90 per cent ownership.

A day earlier, Unwired chairman Mike Burgess, CEO David Spence and director Chris North sold their considerable holdings to Seven.

Seven is now entitled to have a majority of its candidates elected to the Unwired board, but Spence said Seven has told Unwired's board to "stay on for now".

The share offer is still open until 16 November.

Spence said the company's official position remains a recommendation for Unwired shareholders to accept Seven's offer.

"We haven't had any material reason to change that," he said. "I think the prospect of a competing bid is unlikely now that Seven has control of the company."

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