TEN NETWORK SHARES GO INTO TRADING HALT AS IT FACES POSSIBLE VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATION

TEN NETWORK SHARES GO INTO TRADING HALT AS IT FACES POSSIBLE VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATION
THE FUTURE of one of Australia's major commercial television networks is in serious doubt after its billionaire investors pull the pin on funding an extended $250 million loan to the broadcaster.

Shares in Ten Network Holdings (ASX: TEN) were placed in a trading halt this morning for up to 48 hours as the company confirmed it had received "correspondence" from Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon.

"That correspondence confirms that those guarantors do not intend to extend or increase their support for the company's credit facilities beyond the term of the current facility which expires on 23 December 2017," says Ten company secretary Stuart Thomas in a statement to the ASX.

There was no mention of another major shareholder and billionaire, James Packer, but it is understood he too has decided against funding the loan.

Gordon, owner of regional TV network WIN, is the largest shareholder in TEN with 15 per cent of shares, while Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of News Corp, has a 7.7 per cent stake in the company.

James Packer, Crown Resorts' (ASX: CWN) majority shareholder, owns 7.5 per cent and has reportedly had his stake on the market for some time, but has been unable to find a buyer.

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 is facing the prospect of being placed into voluntary administration if it cannot refinance the loan.

The Ten Network is Australia's third-placed commercial television network, behind Nine and Seven, and it has struggled to attract viewers to its programming and its advertising revenues have taken a hit as a result, despite some success with hit shows Masterchef (pictured) and The Bachelor.

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

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support

Crypto staking: a new way to earn passive income
Partner Content
You may be familiar with traditional ways of earning passive income such as trading sto...
Etoro
Advertisement

Related Stories

Cromwell sells Brisbane head office to Wingate for $108.5 million

Cromwell sells Brisbane head office to Wingate for $108.5 million

As part of its strategy to sell off inessential assets, Brisbane-ba...

Record profits again for TechnologyOne as CEO touts business model resilience in tough times

Record profits again for TechnologyOne as CEO touts business model resilience in tough times

TechnologyOne (ASX: TNE) CEO Edward Chung has affirmed the company ...

Qantas acquires Byron Bay-based travel agency TripADeal

Qantas acquires Byron Bay-based travel agency TripADeal

Australia's flagship airline Qantas (ASX: QAN) has taken a majo...

The Star “cleansing” continues with more management resignations

The Star “cleansing” continues with more management resignations

Evidence given today at a review into casino and resort operator Th...