Ten creditors choose CBS over Murdoch


CBS CEO Les Moonves

CBS Corp will be the next owner of Australia’s Network after creditors accepted its offer.

Lachlan Murdoch and business partner Bruce Gordon had tabled a rival offer in a bid to derail CBS’s previously agreed deal for Ten, but this has come up short.

Unsecured creditors met yesterday to decide what deal to accept, and chose CBS revised its offer to them. It will now pay out A$40.6 million (US$32.4 million).

Ten, which airs shows such as Neighbours and The Bachelorette, fell into administration after 21st Century Fox executive chairman Murdoch, WIN owner Gordon and James Packer removed funding guarantees.

CBS, Ten’s biggest creditor, will also pay Fox A$12 million instead of the previously planned A$3.5 million if the pair cannot negotiate a new contract for programming.

Administrators KordaMentha said the agreement offered “the best return to creditors”, and expected the deal to close within five weeks.

Gordon and Murdoch, who claim KordaMentha did not provide creditors with enough information before siding with CBS, may now seek to lodge an appeal.

However, CBS is seen as the safest option for Ten, Australia’s third largest commercial network, to begin rebuilding.

The US company has promised to secure jobs and invest in content, whereas Australian media reports have continually claimed Murdoch and Gordon were planning wide scale cuts should their offer be accepted.