Not everybody is happy about the CBS takeover of TEN.
Shareholders who stand to lose everything are considering a class action lawsuit.
Australian Shareholders Association director Allan Goldin told News Corp preliminary talks have been held with law firms about a class action.
“Class actions are very difficult and whether that is a possibility or if it’s not it’s really too early to say. But sure, we are having talks,” he said.
The surprise announcement on Monday will see secured creditors paid, along with a guarantors’ fee owed to billionaire shareholders Lachlan Murdoch, Bruce Gordon and James Packer. But smaller shareholders are expected to receive no compensation for their shares being taken over by the $35 billion ($US28 billion) broadcaster.
Shareholder John Homewood told Fairfax, “It just seems to me that these administrators … it is as if the poor old shareholder has been pushed out of the way of a business that for all intents and purposes was viable.
“I have come to the realisation that effectively shareholders will have their equity interest just transferred over to CBS. It is really the lack of information being provided that has got me a bit hot under the collar.”
ASA has written to Treasurer Scott Morrison, asking that CBS amend its offer so that shareholders did not miss out.
“It is just like anything, you’d prefer Australian assets to stay in Australian hands if possible,” Goldin said, adding that “outdated” media laws made it “almost impossible” for an Australian to bid.
The CBS deal is yet to be voted on by creditors and passed by the Foreign Investment Review Board. Shareholders will not get a vote on the CBS takeover and have not been able to trade shares since June 13.