End nears for Australis

Pay TV operator put into receivership

SYDNEY — Australia’s ailing pay TV operator Australis Media appears to be in its death throes.

The company’s bondholders put Australis into receivership Tuesday after financial guarantees made to U.S. courts were not met.

Australis had filed for Chapter 11 protection in New York’s Southern District Bankruptcy Court in the hope of a $100 million infusion from a consortium led by the company that owns its Sydney building.

That money did not materialize, leading to the appointment of Ferrier Hodgson as receivers and managers.

It’s expected the receivers will strive to keep Australis trading long enough to sell its key assets, which include its 70,000 subscribers, DTH transmission facilities and a 25-year Hollywood programming supply deal with cabler Foxtel,

This will pave the way for the long-awaited overhaul of the Aussie pay TV industry, which has seen a bloody three-way battle between Australis, Foxtel and Optus Multimedia.

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