SYDNEY — Network Ten is being prepped for sale after it secured an agreement from its major shareholder CanWest that any sale of its stake would lead to a full takeover bid.
Canada’s CanWest holds a 56.4% stake in Ten, made up of 14.4% of Ten’s shares and the rest in convertible debentures to get around Oz’s foreign ownership restrictions.
CanWest said last month it was exploring opportunities arising out of the recent changes to Australian media ownership laws, which may affect its Ten stake.
Ten said in a statement that a sale should be completed by the end of August, and that it would work with CanWest to find a buyer.
Oz abolished its decades-old protectionist media laws in October, and foreign owners are likely to be allowed into the market as early as February.
The change has produced a flurry of activity in the media sector. James Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. inked with Blighty private equity firm CVC Partners to form PBL Media in a A$4.5 billion deal ($3.5 billion) that included selling half of the Nine Network.
Soon after, Kerry Stokes entered into a similar arrangement with Stateside equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, valuing his terrestrial web Seven and its assets at $3.1 billion.