Ten creditors vote in favour of CBS bid

Ten’s creditors have voted in favour this morning to approve CBS’ offer to buy the network’s business and assets.

It comes a day after media mogul Bruce Gordon lost his battle in court, where attempts to delay the Ten’s creditors’ meetings and prevent bidder CBS from voting on the US company’s Deed Of Company Arrangement failed.

Network Ten Receiver and Manager, and PPB Advisory Partner, Christopher Hill, said in a media statement: “We believe the approval of CBS’s DOCA represents a positive outcome for creditors, and ensures the iconic broadcaster continues on a strong and stable footing under the ownership of one of the world’s largest media organisations.”

The news also follows a desperate second bid from Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch, which was said to return more value and provide greater “execution certainty.”

It has now been more than three weeks since CBS made an offer to buy Network Ten, two months after the network went into administration.

Ten’s administrators Korda Mentha later approved the CBS acquisition, which includes a loan of approximately $142.7m to refinance the debt of the company, and shareholder guarantor fees to Murdoch, Gordon, and James Packer.

The deal includes the acquisition of Ten, digital  channel Eleven, One and digital platform, Tenplay.

CBS will also launch CBS All Access, the company’s digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market.

It came despite speculation of a joint bid by shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon. The bid was looking to go ahead after the ACCC said it would not stand in the way, but CBS’ offer was more concrete as the media reforms had not passed the Senate.

At the time, Christopher Hill, PPB advisory partner, said the sales of the business to CBS would allow the broadcaster to move into a “new chapter on a strong and stable footing.”

Jarrod Villanni, administrator at KordaMentha Restructuring, said CBS would provide “immediate financial support” to ensure continuity of operations.

“The Receivers and Administrators will work closely together to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted while the transaction is finalised,” Villanni explained.

Earlier this morning, the Australian Financial Review reported CBS had lodged a higher bid ahead of the meeting.

According to the report, it was understood the new bid would pay out unsecured creditors more than $40m, compared with $32m in its previous proposal.


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