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Court approves Ten sale to CBS as judge rejects dissident shareholders’ claims

The NSW Supreme Court has today rejected last ditch efforts to block the sale of the Ten Network to CBS.

In a ruling delivered the morning after Ten announced its 2018 line-up, Justice Black of the NSW Supreme Court found the proposed transfer of shares to CBS’s nominee, rather than interests associated with Bruce Gordon or Lachlan Murdoch, would not be unfairly prejudicial to the network’s former shareholders.

A Ten spokesperson told Mumbrella: “We are thrilled at the decision and look forward to the CBS transaction completing very shortly and getting on with business.”

Mumbrella understands the transaction will be completed next Wednesday.

The network went into administration last July, following key shareholders James Packer, Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon withdrawing support for the company’s $250 million debt package.

At the end of August, creditor CBS announced it would buy the troubled network in a deal which included the US broadcaster guaranteeing over $140 million of Ten’s debts.

CBS’s proposal was endorsed by Ten’s liquidators, Korda Mentha, the following week and by creditors the following month, despite Murdoch and Gordon putting a competing bid through their holding companies Illyria and Birketu, which the media tycoons argued was more favourable to creditors and the former shareholders.

While Murdoch and Gordon lost in the courts, three dissident shareholders Yufeng Du, David Gubbay and Chun Leung started proceedings to stop the the sale going ahead for a wide range of reasons including claiming the administrators had relied on a flawed accountant’s report undervaluing Murdoch and Gordon’s competing bid and had failed to properly consider alternatives to CBS’s proposal.

Justice Black rejected all of the reasons for preventing the bid and granted leave to Ten’s administrators to amend the Deed Of Company Arrangement which will see Ten become fully owned by CBS.

 

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