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CanWest sells out of Australia’s Ten

Canadian media group CanWest has sold its controlling stake in Australian free-to-air broadcaster Ten Network. Australia’s Macquarie Capital has bought CanWest’s stake for A$680 million (US$632.2 million).

The Canadian company will use the proceeds to pay down debt. It has been attempting to offload assets in recent months as it sought to renegotiate lending arrangements. It had already launched an equity offering this year, which diluted its Ten stake from 57% to 50.1%.

Ten is Australia’s third-ranked free-to-air network and has traditionally chased a younger demographic than its free-to-air counterparts Seven and Nine. It recently launched an HD sports network, One HD.

Press reports suggested Macquarie will now sell the Ten shares on to institutional investors.