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Murdoch, Gordon in new bid for Ten

Christian Edwards  |  15 Sep 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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SYDNEY - [AAP] Ten Network administrators KordaMentha have confirmed Australian media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon have made a fresh bid for the embattled broadcaster.

A spokesperson for KordaMentha confirmed the administrators had received the revised deed of company agreement (DOCA) proposal on Friday afternoon, as the duo attempt to beat the current recommended offer by US giant CBS.

In a move apparently energised by the passage through Senate of media ownership changes, Mr Murdoch and Mr Gordon will now rely on administrator KordaMentha placing the revised offer before Ten's creditors after the duo were blindsided by the CBS move in August.

The revised bid, made through Mr Murdoch and Mr Gordon's respective investment vehicles Illyria and Birketu, is aimed squarely at undercutting the CBS offer by delivering bigger returns for Ten's unsecured creditors.

The new offer seeks to highlight the comparative risks of the CBS bid, offers to resolve the network's troublesome content deals, and comes without any of the complicated alternate paths to takeover that the original bid required ahead of changes to the Broadcasting Services Act.

The revised proposal includes an increase in the maximum payment to unsecured creditors from $35 million to $55 million against the $32 million offered by CBS.

Under the new deal, Ten's unsecured creditors--excluding CBS--would receive 13.4 cents in the dollar, compared with 12.43 cents under the CBS offer.

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The new proposal promises to keep Ten listed on the ASX, while also liberating the embattled broadcaster from an "onerous" $843 million content deal with CBS.

The revised offer, with its new, single implementation path on the back of media reforms, also seeks to highlight its "significantly lower transaction risk."

Lawyers for Mr Gordon's Birketu this week argued in Supreme Court that the CBS offer treated different creditors unfairly and was therefore a "transaction risk" and a magnet for litigation.

Fox and News Corp-aligned Mr Murdoch and Mr Gordon, the owner of Ten's regional affiliate WIN, were beaten to the punch by the surprise CBS offer made on August 28.

Fox has joined Mr Gordon's Supreme Court hearing challenging the KordaMentha's "unilateral" recommendation of the US company's offer.


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