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Australia’s Ten Network Confirms Foxtel Investment Talks

Struggling Australian free-to-air broadcaster Ten Network said that it was in talks with Foxtel, the pay-TV group that is jointly owned by News Corp. and Telstra.

The company made an announcement to the stock market about its strategic review process. “That process continues and may or may not result in a transaction which is acceptable to Ten. One component of that process involves discussions with Foxtel about the terms on which it may potentially invest in Ten.”

The Australian Financial Review reported that Foxtel and Discovery were preparing a joint bid. Ten received a number of bids back in December last year and appointed Citicorp to help it evaluate the bids.

Some media reports pointed out that Ten is the only major free-to-air channel in Australia not connected to an online streaming service. A deal with Foxtel would fill that gap.

The company is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and will report half year earnings data on Thursday. It is currently controlled by Lachlan Murdoch, James Packer and Gina Rinehart, a mining industry billionaire, as well as Bruce Gordon, who owns the WIN network.

The billionaire investors are likely to lose tens of millions. The bought their stock at close to A$1.50 apiece. The shares currently trade at A$0.21.

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