Economy

Lachlan Murdoch makes fresh bid for Australia's Ten Network

Lachlan Murdoch makes fresh bid for Australia's Ten Network”

Murdoch, co-chair of News Corp - publisher of about two-thirds of Australian newspapers - and Gordon, owner of a regional TV station, are now able to counter CBS, as the pre-internet age regulation meant to prevent consolidation is certain to be overturned in a parliamentary vote next month.

The administrator of Australia's Ten Network said Friday that media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon have made a fresh bid for the embattled broadcaster.

With media reforms freshly through the Senate, Lachlan Murdoch's investment company Illyria has lodged a fresh joint bid for Network Ten. The laws are expected to come into force when the lower House of Representatives, where the ruling coalition has a one-seat majority, sits again in mid-October. CBS, which is Ten's biggest creditor, had offered A$32 million (US$25.5 million). It is unclear whether KordaMentha will present the new offer to creditors.

Administrators KordaMetha are said to have received the new offer around lunchtime today, following the Australian government's passing of a reform package which overhauls media ownership and concentration laws. The pair also say that Ten could in time be refloated on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The new bid is reportedly higher than the CBS bid, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Mr Murdoch and Mr Gordon were caught out in August when CBS launched its surprise bid for Ten and Mr Gordon has a case before the courts challenging the decision by administrators to recommend the USA company's offer.

Lawyers for Gordon's Birketu this week argued in Supreme Court that the CBS offer treated different creditors unfairly and was therefore a "transaction risk" and a magnet for litigation.

Ten had crumbled under the cost of buying programs from the U.S.as advertising revenue plunged. It was placed in voluntary administration in June after Illyria and Gordon's Birketu refused to continue guaranteeing a key loan. Metropolitan and regional broadcasters are also barred from merging. Fox and News Corp-aligned Murdoch Mr Gordon, the owner of Ten's regional affiliate WIN, were beaten to the punch by the surprise CBS offer made on August 28. The "reach rule", preventing a single TV broadcaster from reaching more than 75% of the population, would be repealed.



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