Sale of Nine edges closer to reality

By AdNews | 4 October 2012

The battle royale between Nine Entertainment Co and its lenders has reached fever pitch this week, with Goldman Sachs hitting out at the media company after Nine's directors threatened to sell the business off.

According to reports in The Australian and The Australian Financial Review, Nine's chairman Peter Bush has this week sent a letter to Nine's lenders saying the company will be put up for sale if an agreement cannot be reached on the restructuring of the company by next week.

Nine's senior lenders – led by  debt funds Apollo and Oaktree – have been unable to come to an agreement with mezzanine debt holders – led by Goldman Sachs – on how to restructure the media group and either refinance or repay $3.3 billion in debt.

Nine's directors said receivership was on the cards if the lenders did not sit down to work out a deal by next Tuesday.

However, it has been reported that Goldman Sachs has not taken the letter from Bush lightly, with its lawyers sending a letter back to the Nine board.

According to The Australian, the letter from Goldman Sachs was against the idea of a sale process, and said if the media company was to launch a sale process then Goldman Sachs would “reserve our right to law.”

The letter warned Nine's directors they would be personally liable if Goldman Sachs was not treated in fairness in any negotiation process.

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