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Ten goes into voluntary administration

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Ten Network has announced it will go into voluntary administration, a day after its billionaire shareholders refused to back a new finance package.

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Adminstrators KordaMentha have been appointed to run the company following the decision by Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch not to guarantee a $250 million finance package.

KordaMentha will run the TV network “as much as possible on a business as usual basis”, Ten said in a statement to the ASX.

The administrators will now examine a potential sale of Ten as an option, alongside securing new financing to replace the current $200 million package which expires in December.

Ten said its directors had “no choice but to appoint administrators” after Gordon and Murdoch declined to back the new finance package.

“The directors of Ten regret very much that these circumstances have come to pass,” the statement said.

Ten’s shares are now suspended from quotation on the ASX, following being placed in a trading halt yesterday.

The stock last traded at an all-time low of 16 cents – well below the $1.06 it has averaged over the past 12 months and a world away from the levels around $33 it held in 2005.

Gordon, who owns the WIN TV network, is the largest shareholder in Ten via the 15 per cent of the company he owns via his investment vehicle Birketu.

Foxtel is another major shareholder with a 13.8 per cent stake.

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart holds 8.5 per cent via Hanrine Investments, Murdoch holds 7.7 per cent via the company Illyria and Packer holders 7.7 per cent through his Aidem Holdings.

Ten’s current board includes Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh, WIN TV CEO Andrew Lancaster, and former Liberal MP Andrew Robb, who represents Rinehart’s interests.

-AAP

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