For Sale Destra Slashes Asset Values

Troubled Australian digital marketing and media company Destra Corporation has cut another $2.56 million Australian ($2.141 million) from the value of its entertainment assets which it has put on the market.

Destra announced $69.5 million Australian ($58.14 million) of write-downs of goodwill, intellectual property and investments on Aug. 21. It has now increased that figure to $72.1 million Australian ($60.3 million) to "more accurately reflect the fair value of the assets in the entertainment division."

Destra hung the For Sale sign on its entertainment assets in April, when its largest shareholder, broadcaster and media company Prime Media Group seized control of the board and ousted founder and chief executive Domenic Carosa. Destra plans to focus on its smaller media and marketing divisions.

The Sep. 24 write-down came after a prospective buyer of the entertainment division pulled out.

However, two of the companies have been sold off separately. Former chief executive Carosa has bought back the ad-funded website, where independent acts post their music online for free.

Carosa told that he is still talking to prospective partners and working out a strategy for the site. He says, "I founded ten years ago, and I still believe in the business." He declined to reveal his purchase price.

Budget DVD and CD company Payless Entertainment has been the centre of a management buy-out. Destra had acquired the firm in 2006 for $8.7 million Australian ($7.27 million). New Payless CEO Mark Hurdis, who owns Payless with three others, told he would look at importing product from Europe again, and at re-entering the Asian market. The staff of 30 will remain. Last year, Payless turned over $13.8 million Australian ($11.54 million), Hurdis said. He declined to reveal the buy-out price.

A source told that sales of Destra's New Zealand operations, dance label Central Station Records and the Destra Music record label would be finalised by the end of the month. But the Sydney-based budget audio and DVD company Rajon and Queensland-based adult contemporary and world music distributor MRA both look likely to be wound up.

The fate of DVD distribution businesses Magna Pacific and Visual Entertainment Group is not yet known.