TEN CREDITORS VOTE FOR CBS BID IN MAJOR BLOW TO BILLIONAIRE MOGULS GORDON AND MURDOCH

TEN CREDITORS VOTE FOR CBS BID IN MAJOR BLOW TO BILLIONAIRE MOGULS GORDON AND MURDOCH

US MEDIA giant CBS is a step closer to taking over the Ten Network (ASX: TEN) after the embattled Australian broadcaster's creditors voted to accept its bid instead of a rival proposal from billionaires Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch.

Overnight CBS raised the amount it was offering unsecured creditors from an initial proposal of $32 million to more than $40 million, and the creditors voted in favour of the deal at a meeting in Sydney.

CBS now only needs Foreign Investment Review Board and court approval to officially gain control of the Ten Network.

Ten receiver and manager Christopher Hill welcomed the outcome and says it offers the best deal for Australia's third largest free-to-air broadcaster.

"We believe the approval of CBS's DOCA (deed of company arrangement) 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," says Hill.

CBS has been locked in a heated battle for control of Ten with billionaire shareholders Gordon and Murdoch, and Gordon lodged a renewed court bid on Monday to derail the CBS bid which was rejected.

The Supreme Court rejected Gordon's claim that Ten's administrators KordaMentha did not give creditors sufficient information about the CBS bid when they recommended it to creditors.

Gordon is expected to launch an appeal against the decision.

The revised CBS bid increases the proposed payout to the Murdoch-controlled Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, from $3.42 million to $12 million.

Gordon and Murdoch, through their respective investment vehicles Illyria and Birketu, began their takeover bid for Ten in late August only to be trumped by a surprise offer from major creditor CBS.

Ten shares have been in a trading halt since June.

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