a media industry resource

Packer: landmarks


This chronology is indicative only.

It covers -

  • antecedents
  • beginnings (1933)
  • into television (1956)
  • out of newspapers (1972)
  • the Bond deal (1987)
  • ACP floated (1992)
  • Hoyts takeover (1996)
  • Challenger and Burswood (2003)

Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline on this site.


1919 Sydney Smiths Weekly launched by James Joynton Smith, with Robert Packer as Manager

1921 Packer given one-third share of Smiths Weekly

1923 Frank Packer (Kerry's dad) becomes cadet on Joynton Smith's Sydney Daily Guardian, managed by father Robert

1931 Robert Packer becomes General Manager of Associated Newspapers

1932 Frank Packer and former federal Treasurer Ted Theodore form Sydney Newspapers Ltd

1933 Robert Packer leaves Associated Newspapers


1933 Australian Women's Weekly launched

1936 Sydney Newspapers acquires Daily Telegraph from Denison's Associated Newspapers, forming Consolidated Press Ltd - later Australian Consolidated Press (ACP)

1939 Sunday Telegraph launched

1954 Weekend Telegraph launched

1958 Observer weekly current affairs magazine launched

Into television

1956 Packers get Sydney television licence (TCN 9)

1956 Fairfax buys Woman's Day

1957 Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) formed when Packers buy Theodore stake

1960 Fairfax and ACP establish Suburban Publications

1960 Bulletin magazine bought for £400,000 and merged with Observer

1960 Packers buy Maitland Mercury

1960 Nine television network established when Packers buy 62% of Melbourne station GTV-9 from Pye for £3.76m

1962 Frank Packer makes unsuccessful bid for America's Cup

1964-76 Robert Clyde Packer (Kerry's elder brother) is a member of NSW parliament

1965 STW-9 Perth launched

Out of newspapers

1972 Packers sell mastheads of the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs to Murdoch for $15 million

1972 launch Cleo magazine

1974 Kerry becomes chairperson on his father's death

1975 Packers buy broadcast rights to Australian Open golf event

1976 Clyde sells stake in Packer group to younger brother Kerry for about $4 million

1977 starts World Series Cricket

1983 privatises Consolidated Press, subsequently floated as CPH

1983 sells selected leisure and special interest magazines to Hannan family

1984 takes 10% stake in UK station TV-AM (subsequently increased to 24% and sold)

1986 buys US-based Valassis shopping coupon group, competing with Murdoch's Activmedia

The Bond deal

1987 sells Nine network to Alan Bond for around $1bn

1988 buys Fairfax Magazines

1988 pays £50m for a 3.5% stake in UK fibres and chemicals group Courtaulds (subsequently sold)

1988 buys Westralia Square development site in Perth for $270m

1989 CPH pays $130m for chemical manufacturing division of Monsanto Australia, renamed Chemplex

1989 makes multi-billion dollar bid for UK tobacco, packaging and insurance conglomerate BAT Industries Plc

1989 sells part of Westralia Square site for $55m

1989-92 employs Al 'Chainsaw' Dunlap to slash staff

1989 buys controlling stake in ANI engineering group

1990 regains control of Nine network Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane stations for around $250m

1991 sells ANI for reported $180m profit

1991 unsuccessful bid to buy Fairfax

1992 sells 51% of Valassis for US$370m

1992 CPH sells Offset Alpine Printing

1992 buys 9.7% of Westpac bank (subsequently sold)

ACP floated

1992 ACP floated in deal valued at $1.2 billion

1993 CPH sells 50% of Chemplex to Huntsman Chemical Corporation of the USA for US$70m

1993 CPH participates in Huntsman's US$1bn purchase of US-based Texaco Chemical

1993 launches She magazine as partnership with Hearst

1994 Packer forms Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd (PBL) through merger of ACP and Channel 9 Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin

1996 James Packer becomes managing director of PBL

1997 sells remaining Valassis stake

1997 buys stake in Matrix Telecommunications (later renamed Easycall)

1998 gains 25% stake in Foxtel

1998 takes 12% stake in Challenger International, later increased to 19%

1998 Nine Network sells stake in WTN video agency to Associated Press (AP)

1999 takes over Crown casino

1999 buys Consolidated Meat Group

Hoysts takeover

1999 gains control of Hoyts cinema group for around $620m

1999 Hoyts sells cinemas in Poland

1999 floats ecorp

1999 takes stake in One.Tel

2000 Hoyts sells cinemas in UK

2000 CPH buys 10% stake in Himachal Futuristic telecommunications for $396m

2000 forms $250m venture capital fund KVP Ventures with Indian partners

2001 One.Tel goes bust

2001 CPH sells 14.9% stake in Fairfax

2001 eCorp partnership with Charles Schwab dissolved

2002 She magazine closed

Challenger and Burswood

2003 Challenger International and CPH Investments announce merger

2003 major Hoyts America operations sold to Regal Entertainment

2003 eCorp privatised by PBL

2003 Packer sells Westralia Square site for est $20m (overall $200m loss)

2004 gains control of Burswood casino after $686m bid

2004 PBL forms joint venture with Betfair online gaming group

2004 sale of Wizard stake to GE

2004 CPH sells Hoyts to PBL (taking interest in PBL to 39.1%) and WAN for aggregate $520m

2006 PBL buys further 2.7% of for $35.2m, taking stake to 27.1%

2006 increases stake in to 43.9%

2006 PBL announces move to acquire CPH 46% stake in Aspers (UK joint with Damian Aspinall) for $100m

2006 PBL transfers US$900m Macau casino/resort licence to joint venture with Melco International

2006 announces plan to transfer media operations (ACP Magazines, Nine Network (inc stake in Sky News), 50% stake in ninemsn and stake in to PBL Media - new joint venture between PBL and CVC Asia Pacific - with PBL receiving net cash proceeds of $4.54bn