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The future of Ten Network is in doubt after big shareholders, including Lachlan Murdoch, son of News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch, decided not to back a financial restructuring.
Financial advisers to Illyria Limited, an investment vehicle linked to Lachlan Murdoch that owns 7.7 per cent of Ten, told the company that it would not extend or increase its support for the broadcaster’s credit facility. Birketu Limited, owned by Bruce Gordon, the media entrepreneur who holds 15 per cent of Ten, has also withheld support for a proposed new A$250m loan to enable the company to refinance its debts. Ten requested a 48-hour trading halt in its shares.
“Ten’s board is considering the position of the company in light of the position being taken by Illyria and Birketu and the range of restructuring and refinancing initiatives it has under way,” said Ten Network.
Ten is a distant third in Australia’s TV broadcasting market and needed to secure a loan guarantee from its wealthy backers to ensure survival.