The Receivers and Managers (Christopher Hill, Phil Carter and David McEvoy of PPB Advisory) and the Voluntary Administrators (Mark Korda, Jarrod Villani and Jenny Nettleton of KordaMentha Restructuring) of Ten Network Holdings Limited have announced that wholly owned entities of the New York Stock Exchange-listed CBS Corporation have entered into a binding transaction document to acquire the business and assets of Network Ten.
CBS Corporation is currently a key content provider to Ten and operates businesses which span the media and entertainment industries, including the CBS Television Network, cable networks, content production and distribution, television stations, internet-based businesses, and consumer publishing. CBS Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and has a current market capitalisation of ~US$28 billion.
The transaction contemplates an acquisition of Network Ten by CBS, which will be effected by way of a refinance of existing secured debt arrangements (including shareholder guarantor fees) in full and a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) that will be put to creditors at the second creditors meeting. Further details on the expected return to creditors and timing of the second creditors meeting will be provided by the Voluntary Administrators in their Report to Creditors to be released in the coming days.
The decision to enter an exclusive transaction deed with CBS followed a rigorous sales process run in conjunction with independent adviser Moelis Australia Advisory Pty Ltd (Moelis).
Network Ten Receiver and Manager, and PPB Advisory Partner, Christopher Hill said: “Network Ten has played a significant role in Australia’s media landscape over many decades, and the sale of the business to CBS will allow the iconic broadcaster to move into a new chapter on a strong and stable footing.
Administrator Jarrod Villani of KordaMentha Restructuring stated: “The Receivers and Administrators will work closely together to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted while the transaction is finalised. As part of the agreement to purchase the Network Ten business, CBS will provide immediate financial support to ensure continuity of operations ahead of the upcoming meeting of creditors.
This is the statement from CBS about the acquisition:
CBS Corporation has agreed to acquire Network Ten, one of three major commercial broadcast networks in Australia, it was announced today by Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. This transaction adds Network Ten to CBS Corporation’s global content and distribution portfolios. In addition to core linear channel TEN, the deal includes digital terrestrial television channel (DTT) ELEVEN, which CBS already owns a 33% stake, the DTT channel ONE and Network Ten’s rapidly growing digital platform, TENPLAY.
At the same time, by leveraging Network Ten’s linear and digital assets, CBS will also launch CBS All Access, the Company’s digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market. This marks another international territory announced for CBS All Access this month. The Company recently unveiled plans to make the service available in Canada next year.
“Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. “We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar.”
“Network Ten and CBS have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades, and now CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with access to the very best in US content. We also look forward to working with the outstanding team at Network Ten to enhance and expand on its great legacy of Australian news, drama, reality and sports programming,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Studios International.
“This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multiplatform distribution and growth.”