CBS closes in on Ten deal af­ter share trans­fer ap­proved

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - SI­MONE ZI­AZIARIS

CBS is near­ing com­ple­tion of its Ten Net­work buy­out af­ter a Supreme Court judge ap­proved the trans­fer of all Ten shares to the US broad­cast­ing go­liath at no cost.

Jus­tice Ash­ley Black de­cided in favour of CBS yes­ter­day, find­ing there was no prej­u­dice in the deal, which leaves Ten share­hold­ers with no pay­ment for the loss of their shares.

A pre­vi­ous ex­pert re­port val­ued Ten shares as worth­less due to the debts the em­bat­tled broad­caster had for oner­ous con­tent con­tracts, in­clud­ing with CBS.

Jus­tice Black’s de­ci­sion fol­lowed a hear­ing in which three mi­nor share­hold­ers sought to block the deal with­out suc­cess.

Two of those share­hold­ers — law stu­dent Yun­feng Du and ac­coun­tant David Gub­bay — were told yes­ter­day they could ap­peal the de­ci­sion handed down by the New South Wales Supreme Court.

But they were warned they may be li­able for le­gal costs if they chose to ap­peal.

Ten shares will not be trans­ferred to CBS be­fore 5pm on Tues­day, al­low­ing the three share­hold­ers — two of which were present in court yes­ter­day — time to de­cide whether or not to seek an in­junc­tion.

“If you are con­tem­plat­ing an ap­peal, then it will plainly be de­sir­able for you to fi­nalise your po­si­tion over the week­end and give no­tice to the plain­tiffs,” Jus­tice Black said.

Ten ad­min­is­tra­tor Mark Korda told re­porters out­side the court that a fur­ther de­lay could mean Ten might lose out on ad­ver­tis­ing con­tracts, tal­ent re-sign­ing and other new con­tracts.

Mr Korda said he did not think that would hap­pen but, if an ap­peal were lodged, he ex­pected it to be set­tled by Wed­nes­day.

“We want to take chan­nel Ten out of ad­min­is­tra­tion and give it a great fu­ture so there could be da­m­ages but I am sure we will get it set­tled and it will be fine,” Mr Korda said.

The cor­po­rate reg­u­la­tor, the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion, is due to re­lease its de­ci­sion on the takeover — ex­pected to be an ap­proval — late next week.

CBS’s takeover trumped a com­pet­ing offer from ma­jor Ten share­hold­ers Lach­lan Mur­doch, co-chair­man of Gold

Coast Bul­letin pub­lisher News Corp, and Bruce Gor­don.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.