Talks between Nine Entertainment’s warring factions will resume tomorrow, after the parties left the Sydney offices of law firm Gilbert and Tobin in mid-afternoon with no agreement over the media group’s $3.3 billion debt load.
AFR reports CEO David Gyngell told reporters he was “fighting hard to save a great business”.
Updated: AFR it has since reported lenders have agreed to a deal to save the television, ticketing and digital group. It is understood second-tier lenders led by Goldman Sachs will receive about $100 million under the deal, which will see lenders convert their loans into equity in the company.
The Age reports he is ‘‘quietly optimistic.”
“I think we’ll have some sort of outcome to discuss”.
“It’s been a vigorous debate around valuation,” he said.
He told news reporters talks could “go well into the night but my wife is about to have a baby, so that’s the most important thing to me.”
Nine called the meeting this morning to get its lenders to agree to a deal that will see them share ownership of Nine with the majority stake going to senior lenders lead by US hedge funds Oaktree Capital and Apollo Global Management.
The morning session is understood to have been “heated”, sources close to the negotiations said. Another source described the negotiations as “long and hard”.
Directors are preparing to put the company into administration if lenders cannot agree on a solution to its $3.3 billion debt problem.
Failure to reach a deal will force Nine’s directors to pull the plug on the business, although it won’t force the television network itself off the air.
David Gyngell also confirmed he would remain with the company even if the board was forced to put Nine into administration.
Discussions are expected to continue on Wednesday.
Additional source: The Australian