The level of bids for the Ten Network would mean large losses for the troubled free-to-air TV network’s shareholders, including several of Australia’s richest people.
Three shareholders would realise losses of almost $400 million under a 23 cents a share joint-bid between US cable TV giant Discovery Communications and local pay-TV monopoly Foxtel, according to the Australian Financial Review.
The three are: casino operator James Packer, media entrepreneur Lachlan Murdoch and mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
And then there is TV pioneer Bruce Gordon, who accumulated his holding of 14.9% over 10 years, and previously said he wouldn’t be selling his stake.
The four control about 40% of the company between them.
Gina Rinehart’s 9.5% is worth about $58.97 million after paying about $208.14 million.
Fairfax Media reported that US giant Discovery Communications and Foxtel cut their original offer for Ten because they are concerned about the health of the company, which has been hit by poor ratings
Ten’s adviser Citigroup, which is looking at strategic options for the company, has confirmed received “non-binding, conditional proposals from a number of parties”.
The company says the board of directors is now looking at the deals but hasn’t released details.
Ten’s shares fell 7.5% yesterday to $0.222.
The company lost $168.3 million in the year to the end of August.