Date
18 October 2017
CBS, Ten’s biggest creditor, swooped on the TV station after it went into administration three months ago. Photo: Reuters
CBS, Ten’s biggest creditor, swooped on the TV station after it went into administration three months ago. Photo: Reuters

CBS raises bid for Australia’s Ten Network

CBS Corp. has sweetened its bid for Australian broadcaster Ten Network Holdings Ltd., ahead of a key creditors’ vote later on Tuesday on the future of the company, Reuters reports.

CBS, Ten’s biggest creditor, swooped on the TV station after it went into administration three months ago, challenging acquisition plans by Twenty-First Century Fox executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch and business partner Bruce Gordon.

The opposing camps have been in a takeover-tussle since, and the CBS sweetener follows an unsuccessful court challenge, and a counter-offer from the media moguls.

The new CBS offer raises the pool of cash payable to creditors by A$8.6 million (US$6.8 million) to A$40.6 million, documents published by Ten’s administrator show.

That is lower than an A$55 million pool for creditors offered by Gordon and Murdoch, but the structure of the deal is such that many creditors still receive higher payouts from CBS, the administrators’ documents show.

The raised offer strengthens CBS’ position at a crucial meeting of creditors in Sydney later on Tuesday.

To clinch a deal, CBS, which wants a stronger foothold in Australia where it plans to launch its streaming service, must secure majority support from creditors in both value terms and by number.

It will already easily win in value terms as the US network is owed more than half of Ten’s A$609.1 million in debt.

By number, hundreds of Ten employees owed pension and leave entitlements are likely to have a decisive vote.

Representatives for Gordon and Murdoch interests were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

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RA

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