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Australia’s Ten Network Put in Administration After Losing Investor Backing

Australian commercial TV broadcaster Ten Network was put into voluntary administration Wednesday after losing the backing of two major investors, including Lachlan Murdoch.

The company’s board made the decision a day after Ten suspended trading of its shares in the wake of an announcement by two of its biggest shareholders, Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, that they would not provide credit guarantees beyond December.

The company said Mark Korda, Jennifer Nettleton, and Jarrod Villani of Korda Mentha have been appointed as voluntary administrators of the company and its subsidiaries. “This decision follows correspondence received from [Murdoch’s] Illyria and [Gordon’s] Birketu over the weekend which left the directors with no choice but to appoint administrators,” Ten said in a statement.

The company’s board said that Ten’s management had “achieved everything the board has asked them to do over the past few years in very challenging circumstances.” In particular, management has sought to cut content costs.

“In relation to the re-negotiation of programming contracts, the company has agreed in principle the vast majority of the commercial terms of replacement volume content supply agreements with its U.S. studio partners, Fox and CBS, although final terms have not yet been formally agreed,” the statement said. “The effect of these replacement content agreements, if finalized and implemented, would be to reduce by approximately 50% the group’s future liabilities for U.S. content.”

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