Economy

Buyer or new finance deal for Ten: Korda

Buyer or new finance deal for Ten: Korda

KordaMentha, which was appointed as voluntary administrators, said it would work with management and content partners while undertaking a financial and operational assessment, with a view to either recapitalise or sell the business.

Lachlan Murdoch and billionaire Bruce Gordon have discussed a rescue of Ten Network that could see the collapsed TV broadcaster go private.

Ten said the company has "agreed in principle the vast majority of the commercial terms of replacement volume content supply agreements with its United States studio partners, Fox and CBS, although final terms have not yet been formally agreed".

The duo, both major shareholders with a combined 22 per cent of Ten, are looking at their investment vehicles forming a joint venture to restructure the group and repay $200 million due in December.

Ten Network has entered voluntary administration after failing to secure a guarantee for a new $250 million loan it sought to continue its operations beyond Christmas.

"The directors of Ten regret very much that these circumstances have come to pass", Ten said in a statement released to the ASX.

The move comes despite Ten "making significant progress to realize the potential sources of improvements to future earnings", with up to $50 million for the 2018 financial year and $80 million for fiscal 2019.

If administrators are able to complete the deals, programming costs could fall by as much as 50 per cent "while still allowing Ten access to the best productions of those studios over the medium term", the Ten statement read.

The board also thanked employees and contractors for their commitment and enthusiasm for Ten's programmes and business. "They wish Ten and its management all success in the future as the administrators look to the potential sale or recapitalisation of the business".

Ten, whose shows include "Big Bash League" cricket, "Australian Survivor" and "I'm a Celebrity".

Ten, which has been on air since 1964, posted a net loss in September-February of Aus$232 million, but said it had identified cost and revenue initiatives.

This led to the company going into voluntary administration today.

Ten, which broadcasts Homeland, Neighbours and Masterchef Australia, is crumbling under the cost of buying programs from the USA and plunging advertising revenue.


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