CBS gets court approval for takeover of Ten Network
US media giant CBS’s $41 million takeover of the Ten Network can proceed, with a court approving the transfer of all shares in the free-to-air TV broadcaster to the American company.
A hearing into the NSW Supreme Court concluded last Thursday, following days of delays due to three minor shareholders opposing the transfer – a deal which leaves them empty-handed.
Handing down his decision in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Ashley Black said there was “no prejudice or unfair prejudice arising” from the transfer of Ten shares to CBS.
Richard McHugh, representing Ten administrators KordaMentha, said the shares would not be transferred before 5pm on Tuesday, which would allow the shareholders time to decide whether or not to seek an injunction.
Justice Black ordered that if the three shareholders – two of whom were present in court on Friday – intended on seeking any form of injunction they would have to give KordaMentha four hours notice before Tuesday’s deadline and prepare an argument to be heard before the court.
He explained to Yunfeng Du and David Gubbay that they could appeal the decision, but by doing so, they may be subject to damage costs caused by the delay.
“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,” the judge said.
Administrator Mark Korda told reporters outside of court that a further delay could mean Ten might lose out on large advertising contracts, talent resigning and other new contracts.
He 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 told reporters.
The CBS takeover trumped a competing offer from billionaire Ten shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon and was almost unanimously backed by Ten’s creditors, including the broadcaster’s employees, at a meeting in September.
The deal now awaits the expected approval from the n Securities and Investments Commission.