CBS secures $143m refinancing deal as Ten sale progresses

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 5 September 2017
[Image: Channel Ten]

CBS Corporation has completed a refinancing deal of Ten to settle $142.7 million in debts owed to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and guarantors fees to Lachlan Murdoch, Bruce Gordon and James Packer.

Yesterday, administrators KordaMentha released a plan outlining what creditors are likely to receive in the sale to CBS.
Secured creditors and employees will be paid out in full but US TV production houses must commit to to get paid.

Employees are set to receive a bucket of between $14.1 million to $56.2 million, the higher end includes provision for redundancies if they become necessary. Trade and other creditors will receive $30 million to $35 million.

CBS's content output deal, which runs until the end of 2020 and was subject to a $843.6 million claim. Administrators have set aside $348 million in voting rights, bringing its total voting rights value to $500 million.

Twentieth Century Fox at risk of losing the majority of its content deal for one off fee of $3.4 million if it fails to renegotiate. Fox lodged a claim of $376.3 million at the first creditor's meeting and has committed to renegotiating.

Other production companies owed money that have committed in principle to continue working with Ten include Endemol Shine Australia, the maker of MasterChef, Survivor and Offspring, Warner Bros (Bachelor and Bachelorette) WTFN Entertainment (The Living Room).

Creditors will now vote on a deed of company arrangement on 12 September.

This would hand ownership over to CBS with KordaMentha going to court to get shares transferred to CBS. The deal must also be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board. Shareholders could launch a legal challenge in the court phase.

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