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CBS Takeover of Ten Network Approved by Australian Court

A Supreme Court judge in Australia has ruled in favor of CBS Corp.’s proposed takeover of the country’s Ten Network. The move had been opposed by media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, who sought to buy the network themselves.

Justice Ashley Black of the New South Wales Supreme Court said Friday that there was “no prejudice or unfair prejudice arising” from the transfer of the shares by the administrator to CBS’s Australian nominee. It is possible that Murdoch and Gordon may appeal the ruling.

Ten filed for protection from its creditors and was put into administration earlier this year after investment companies held by Murdoch, Gordon and Kerry Packer announced that they would not guarantee the company’s debt beyond December. Murdoch and Gordon and the U.S.’s CBS Corp. then put competing rescue offers on the table. In September, shareholders and employees voted overwhelmingly in favor of the CBS offer.

CBS had originally offered A$32 million (US$25.6 million) to creditors. Murdoch and Gordon proposed A$35 million (US$28 million), and increased that in September to A$55 million (US$43.9 million), promising to leave some equity for creditors. But their offer document also appeared to imply substantial cutbacks and studio closures. CBS increased its offer to A$40 million (US$32 million) on the eve of the creditors’ meeting in September.

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