The receivers and managers (Christopher Hill, Phil Carter and David McEvoy of of PPB Advisory) and the voluntary administrators (Mark Korda, Jarrod Villani and Jenny Nettleton of KordaMentha Restructuring) of Ten Network Holdings Limited have announced that wholly owned entities of the New York Stock Exchange-listed CBS Corporation have entered into a binding transaction document to acquire the business and assets of Network Ten.
CBS Corporation is currently a key content provider to Ten and operates businesses which span the media and entertainment industries, including the CBS Television Network, cable networks, content production and distribution, TV stations, internet-based businesses, and consumer publishing.
CBS Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and has a current market capitalisation of US$28 billion.
The transaction contemplates an acquisition of Network Ten by CBS, which will be effected by way of a refinance of existing secured debt arrangements (including shareholder guarantor fees) in full and a deed of company arrangement that will be put to creditors at the second creditors meeting.
Further details on the expected return to creditors and timing of the second creditors meeting will be provided by the voluntary administrators in their report to creditors, to be released in the coming days.
The decision to enter an exclusive transaction deed with CBS followed a rigorous sales process run in conjunction with independent adviser, Moelis Australia Advisory.
Network Ten receiver and manager, and PPB Advisory partner, Christopher Hill, said: “Network Ten has played a significant role in Australia’s media landscape over many decades, and the sale of the business to CBS will allow the iconic broadcaster to move into a new chapter on a strong and stable footing.
Administrator Jarrod Villani of KordaMentha Restructuring said: “The receivers and administrators will work closely together to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted while the transaction is finalised.
“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.”
Armando Nunez, president and CEO of CBS Studios International, said, “CBS recognises the significance of Ten in the Australian broadcasting community.
“We are committed to the efficient, reliable and successful turnaround, operation and development of Ten to support continued growth in Australian media”.
Paul Anderson, CEO of Ten, said: “CBS and Ten have had a strong relationship for a number of years. We are very excited about further developing that relationship with CBS as an owner and strength that they will provide to the company at this critical time”.
The acquisition is somewhat a surprising one, with the joint takeover bid by Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon originally tipped as the likely suitor for Ten, which was only approved on Thursday by the ACCC.