This morning creditors were given the opportunity to adjourn a meeting but voted to proceed.
CBS and TEN employees, many of whom were disgruntled by company mismanagement, had the lion’s share of the votes today.
The Receivers and Managers of Network Ten Holdings (Network Ten), Christopher Hill, Phil Carter and David McEvoy of PPB Advisory, report that at the second meeting of creditors held today, a vote was carried in favour of the Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) put forward by CBS Corporation (CBS) to acquire the Network Ten business and its assets.
Creditor approval for the CBS acquisition of Network Ten followed the selection of CBS as the superior bidder during a rigorous and independent sales process run by PPB Advisory in conjunction with sale adviser, Moelis Australia Advisory.
Network Ten Receiver and Manager, and PPB Advisory Partner, Christopher Hill, said: “We believe the approval of CBS’s DOCA 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.”
The full acquisition of Network Ten remains subject to Court and Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.
Earlier this morning it was confirmed that CBS had increased its offer for the network, agreeing to pay unsecured creditors just over $40 million — an increase of $8 million over its original bid.
Last Friday Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch upped their offer to unsecured creditors from $35 million to $55 million but the extra $20 million is actually a payout to CBS, as TEN’s largest creditor.
When the CBS payout is excluded, the new $40 million bid from CBS appears to be the higher offer.
Bruce Gordon is expected to appeal yesterday’s court ruling that found administrators KordaMentha had not failed to give creditors vital information about his joint bid with Lachlan Murdoch.
As the Australian Financial Review notes, “Even if creditors back the CBS bid on Tuesday, the Gordon-Murdoch camp still have more legal options to pursue the deal. It is safe to say they will not give up without a fight.
“They can still challenge conditions applied to the CBS’s deed of company arrangement (DOCA)). That deed is only binding once foreign investment and 444GA transfer conditions are met.
“Section 444GA of the Corporations Act allows an administrator to transfer shares in a company with court approval.
“Even if that all went through, the lawyers believe it is possible for a third party unfairly prejudiced by the DOCA to seek to terminate the deal.”
Additional source: ABC