×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lachlan Murdoch, Bruce Gordon Challenge CBS With Full Bid for Australia’s Ten

Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon have launched a formal bid for Australia’s troubled Ten Network. The bid is a direct challenge to CBS Corp.’s proposed acquisition of Ten from financial administrators.

The bid by Murdoch’s Illyria investment company and Gordon’s Birketu follows a successful court challenge Tuesday to the CBS proposal, which was put forward last month. The court ruling in Sydney delayed a vote by creditors on the CBS rescue plan. But Murdoch and Gordon’s bid may itself be ruled inadmissible because it missed an Aug. 25 deadline.

Significantly, the Illyria-Birketu bid also follows the passage this week of new media laws that will relax rules on cross-media ownership and media plurality. The Murdoch family-owned News Corp. is already the dominant media group in Australia. Lachlan Murdoch is executive chairman of 21st Century Fox.

According to Australian media, the Illyria-Birketu bid puts more cash on the table for creditors. CBS, which is Ten’s biggest creditor, had offered A$32 million (US$25.5 million). In an earlier informal offer, Illyria-Birketu proposed A$35 million (US$28 million). The new takeover offer ups that to A$55 million (US$44 million).

Unlike CBS’ offer, which would give it outright ownership, the Illyria-Birketu bid proposes returning 25% of Ten’s equity to existing shareholders. Murdoch and Gordon also say that Ten could in time be re-floated on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Ten was forced to go into administration earlier this year after media moguls Murdoch, Gordon and James Packer withdrew their guarantees to provide credit to the company. It is Australia’s third-ranking free-to-air broadcast group.

The CBS bid had been approved by administrators KordaMentha. According to a second report published by the administrators, Illyria and Birketu would renegotiate leases on three of Ten’s studios. Job losses may follow, especially if Ten’s news operations are combined with those of Sky. CBS has promised that jobs will not be cut.

More Biz

  • Phil McIntyre Steps Down as Roc

    Phil McIntyre Steps Down From Roc Nation Management, but Remains Affiliated With Company

    Phil McIntyre has stepped down as president of Roc Nation Management, but his PhilyMack management company remains affiliated with Roc, a source close to the situation tells Variety. PhilyMack, which McIntyre founded in 2006, partnered with Roc Nation in 2015. The source stressed that McIntyre’s role at Roc Nation Management  — whose clients include Rihanna, [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Ben Brafman Drops Out of Harvey Weinstein Rape Case

    Harvey Weinstein has officially parted ways with defense attorney Ben Brafman, releasing a joint statement Thursday announcing the move. Weinstein had clashed with his defense attorney over strategy in his rape and sexual assault case. The pair issued a statement saying their parting was amicable, and that Brafman would cooperate fully with Weinstein’s new attorneys. [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gains, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • Heather Parry Live Nation

    Live Nation Investigation of Heather Parry Also Targets Leakers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Over the past two weeks, the law firm of Paul Hastings LLP has been probing allegations reported by Variety last month that Heather Parry, the head of Live Nation Productions, had verbally abused employees and used offensive language in the workplace. But the lead investigator, Elena Baca, seems to be just as interested in uncovering [...]

  • Leslie Moonves

    Leslie Moonves to Pursue Arbitration for His $120 Million Severance From CBS

    Former CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves will pursue an arbitration claim to fight CBS for the $120 million severance that he was denied last month when the company’s board of directors determined he was fired for cause. Moonves was ousted in September after multiple women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the longtime [...]

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean OTT Players, SK Telecom Join Forces to Compete Against Netflix

    South Korea’s three major broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS have joined forces with the country’s leading telecom firm, SK Telecom, to launch a new video streaming platform. The move is regarded as a defensive reaction against the growing influence of foreign competitors, lead by Netflix. The broadcasters already jointly own Pooq, with MBC and SBS [...]

  • David Lubliner Moves to UTA From

    Veteran WME Agent David Lubliner to Join UTA

    William Morris Endeavor agent David Lubliner is departing the company for a post at United Talent Agency, individuals familiar with the move told Variety. The parting of ways was amicable, the insiders added. Lubliner was a veteran in WME’s motion picture literary department. Rumors of his exit had been floating since Hollywood reopened for the new [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content