Ten drops below $100m as network’s value vanishes

The Ten Network, which began the week on a high with the largest haul of Logies of the commercial networks, ended it on a low after its share price tanked, dropping the value of the company below $100m for the first time.

Ten shares dropped nearly 20% on Thursday after the broadcaster warned it was in danger of going under unless broadcast license fees were slashed, loans were renegotiated and program deals with suppliers rewritten.

The trend continued on Friday with panicked investors deserting Ten, driving the share price down from 36 cents at opening to close at 26 cents, carving a further 26.3% from the value of the company.

More than 9.8m shares were traded across the day as concerns over Ten’s announcement during its first half results continued to bite.

The network began the week valued at more than $200m but closed on Friday afternoon with a market capitalisation of just $95.97m.

Ten has launched a transformation project to cut costs internally while it is also in discussions with the Commonwealth Bank and the guarantors of its $200m loan facility which falls due in December – billionaires Lachlan Murdoch, James Packer and Bruce Gordon.

The network is also relying heavily on the federal government announcing cuts to broadcast licence fees in next week’s budget, but speaking with analysts yesterday CEO Paul Anderson said it was “just one piece of the puzzle”.

Ten announced an impairment of $214m – the cost of the broadcast licence fee – in its results after reporting a net first half loss of $232.2m.


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