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Troubled Ten saved by US broadcaster CBS

Simone Ziaziaris  |  28 Aug 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

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SYDNEY - [AAP] Ten Network has been snapped up by US media giant CBS in a deal that should keep Australia's third commercial free-to-air broadcaster on air.

Receiver PPB Advisory and administrator KordaMentha said in a joint statement on Monday that CBS, which owns Ten shows including NCIS and was among the network's creditors, had entered a binding agreement to acquire the business and its assets.

"As part of the agreement to purchase the Network Ten business, CBS will provide immediate financial support to ensure continuity of operations ahead of the upcoming meeting of creditors," KordaMentha administrator Jarrod Villani said.

CBS Corporation chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves said CBS, which has a current market capitalisation of $US28 billion ($A35 billion), was confident it would be able to use its market expertise to grow Ten.

The US network's move comes only days after Ten's billionaire shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon were given the regulatory all-clear to launch a joint takeover of the embattled free-to-air network.

Mr Murdoch and Mr Gordon sought a review of their bid in July after Ten was placed in administration and the competition watchdog ACCC reviewed factors including how a takeover would expand "Murdoch interests" in Australian media and how competition for supply of news services would be affected.

PPB Advisory and KordaMentha on Monday said the acquisition was an important milestone in securing a strong and stable future for the company and its stakeholders.

The deal includes Ten's ELEVEN channel, in which CBS already has a 33 per cent stake, channel ONE and Ten's growing digital platform TENPLAY.

The transaction is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval and the compulsory transfer of shares in Ten to CBS, which will require approval from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Ten chief executive Paul Anderson said the network was very excited about further developing its relationship with CBS as the company's new owner and the strength it will provide during this "critical time".

Ten has been in a trading halt since June 13, when Mr Gordon and Mr Murdoch pulled their support for a new funding deal after an existing facility expired, leading the number three commercial broadcaster into voluntary administration.

 

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