NETWORK TEN GOES INTO ADMINISTRATION AFTER BILLIONAIRES BAIL ON FUNDING LOAN
Written on the 14 June 2017 by Ben Hall
BREAKING: Network Ten has announced it will go into voluntary administration after failing to secure a key loan from its three billionaire investors Lachlan Murdoch, James Packer and Bruce Gordon.
Shares in Ten Network Holdings (ASX: TEN) were placed in a trading halt on Tuesday for up to 48 hours after the company confirmed it had received "correspondence" from Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon.
That correspondence confirmed they would pull the pin on funding an extended $250 million to the broadcaster.
There was no mention of another major shareholder and billionaire, James Packer, but it is understood he too has decided against funding the loan.
Ten Network staff were told of the news this morning and the shock announcement was made just before midday. Veteran newsreader Hugh Riminton tweeted a quote from TEN Network CEO Paul Anderson.
"This is extremely disappointing for all of us," Anderson says.
"The directors of Ten regret very much that these circumstances have come to pass. They wish to take this opportunity to thank all Ten employees and contractors for their commitment and enthusiasm for Ten's programs and business.
"In particular, they would like to express their sincere gratitude, respect and admiration for Ten's leadership team, who have achieved everything the board has asked them to do over the past few years in very challenging circumstances.
The three billionaires are the guarantors on a $200 million loan which has been keeping TEN alive and the company has been asking them to increase this loan to $250 million when the initial loan with Commonwealth expires in December.
Thomas says the board of TEN requested the trading halt to allow it to investigate possible restructuring and refinancing initiatives.
The company recently announced a $232.2 million loss. TEN shares last traded on Friday at $0.16 and in the past year its value has plummeted 85 per cent from $1.16.Never miss a story: Sign up to Business News Australia's free news updates
Author: Ben Hall