CBS wins battle for Ten Network's future, trumping Murdoch and Gordon bid

CBS wins battle for Ten Network's future, trumping Murdoch and Gordon bid

CBS wins battle for Ten Network's future, trumping Murdoch and Gordon bid

Updated 19 September 2017, 19:45 AEST

US media giant CBS — home of global hits CSI and Big Bang Theory — emerges from a one-hour creditors' meeting as the victorious bidder for the struggling Ten Network, ending the hopes of Australian media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon.

After a one-hour creditors' meeting, US media giant CBS has emerged as the victorious bidder for the struggling Ten Network.

This is the second defeat for Australian media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon in two days.

Their unsuccessful bid to take over Ten follows Monday's decision by the Supreme Court of NSW.

The court ruled it would not restrain today's second creditors' meeting, nor would it restrict CBS's voting rights.

The big question on everyone's mind is whether Mr Gordon and Mr Murdoch will appeal against the court's decision.

After the meeting, Mark Korda, the partner of Ten's administrators KordaMentha, told reporters the disappointed duo have not yet lodged an appeal.

That confirmed what the NSW Court of Appeal told the ABC this morning.

"If other parties want to challenge that decision, they have their legal rights to do so," Mr Korda said.

What happened at creditors' meeting?

Two votes were put forward to the creditors today.

The first was whether to adjourn the meeting to another date, which they decided not to do.

The second vote was on the substantive matter of whether creditors preferred CBS's bid, or the joint Gordon-Murdoch bid.

"The creditors have decided on the future of Ten," Mr Korda said.

"What they decided was to vote — more than 50 per cent in value [of votes] and more than 50 per cent in number [of individual voters] to accept the CBS deed of company arrangement."

In terms of the numbers of voters, he said it was an "overwhelming vote in favour of CBS".

During the meeting, a change was made to CBS's revised bid, submitted to Ten's administrators on Monday evening.

It is understood CBS's new bid will pay unsecured creditors just over $40 million — $8 million higher than its original bid.

It comes after media moguls Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch submitted their latest bid last Friday, upping their offer to unsecured creditors from $35 million to $55 million.

"[CBS] increased their offer to Fox — their proposal is to negotiate with Fox a new content agreement," Mr Korda said.

"Failing that, a payment of $12 million, that was increased from up to $3.4 million."

Mr Korda said the CBS bid offered "the best return to creditors" and had "the least execution risk".

Future of Ten Network

"It's pretty much business as usual for employees and for the program," Mr Korda said.

He confirmed the CBS takeover would be finalised within four to five weeks in what he called a "short settlement".

In the meantime, CBS is still waiting for the Foreign Investments Review Board (FIRB) to approve its takeover of the Ten Network.

When asked about his thoughts about Ten's future, Mr Korda said: "The industry is excited about $27-billion big brother [CBS] looking after Channel Ten."

KordaMentha expects to release the final voting results on Wednesday or Thursday.