U.S. cabler in Oz pay TV bid

Connecticut-based Century Communications has joined Continental Venture Capital Ltd. of Sydney to acquire the major share holding in Australia’s second pay TV license.

Last month, Century and Albert Hadid put a $ 2.5 million deposit on the license.

The new company, Continental Century, will take a 91.5% holding in the license, with Hadid retaining the rest. Vanda Gould, Continental chairman and managing director of the joint venture, said the “proposed capital structure will be financed by a mixture of debt and equity, with (about) $ 20.7 million in voting and non-voting shares being issued.” Century is providing a working capital line of credit to establish operations.

Foreign interests are limited to an aggregate of 35% of the license, with a 20% single owner ceiling. Thus, Continental would retain a minimum of 70% voting control, said Gould, which indicates that Century — though limited to 20% control — might have as much as 90% economic interest.

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