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Blow for Murdoch as Ten creditors vote for CBS bid

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UPDATED | Ten Network creditors have voted to accept CBS’s bid for the embattled broadcaster, rejecting a rival proposal from Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch.

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The creditors voted at a meeting in Sydney on Tuesday, just hours after the US media giant raised the amount it was offering unsecured creditors from an initial proposal of $32 million to more than $40 million.

A competing proposal from billionaire shareholders Murdoch and Gordon was rejected, a day after Mr Gordon failed in a court bid to derail the CBS takeover.

After being accepted by Ten creditors, the CBS deal now needs court and Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

Ten receiver and manager Christopher Hill said the outcome secured the future of Australia’s third largest free-to-air broadcaster.

“We believe the approval of CBS’s DOCA (deed of company arrangement) 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,” said Hill, a partner at PPB Advisory.

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Gordon’s claim that Ten’s adminstrators, KordaMentha, did not give creditors sufficient information about the CBS bid when they recommended it to creditors.

Gordon has reportedly begun preparing an appeal against the decision.

The revised CBS bid, presented to Ten’s administrator KordaMentha on Monday night, will pay $40.58 million to unsecured creditors.

It increases the proposed payout to the Murdoch-controlled Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, from $3.42 million to $12 million.

Murdoch and Gordon – through their respective investment vehicles Illyria and Birketu – had launched a takeover bid for Ten in late August only to be trumped by a surprise offer from major creditor CBS.

Shares in the financially distressed broadcaster have been in a trading halt since June.

– AAP

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