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Murdoch attempts to derail CBS deal for Ten

Shareholder Lachlan Murdoch

Lachlan Murdoch

Lachlan Murdoch isn’t giving up on Network Ten just yet.

While his brother James was playing politics in the UK over 21st Century Fox’s stuttering deal for Sky, Murdoch has launched a new bid to buy struggling Australian channel Network Ten.

Earlier this week, the Australian government relaxed rules that stopped Murdoch from owning a free-to-air channel due to his assets in pay TV (Foxtel, through News Corp) and radio.

Murdoch and another Ten shareholder, Bruce Gordon, have subsequently launched a new takeover bid for Ten. This is despite Ten administrator KordaMentha already accepting a deal for the broadcaster from Fox rival CBS Corp.

The new offer, made through Murdoch’s investment firm Illyria and Gordon’s Biketu, ups its offer to creditors from A$35 million to A$55 million.

“With the passage of the Media Reform Bill now assured, there are limited conditions to the revised proposal and a single execution path,” they wrote in a letter to the administrators.

Murdoch and Gordon, who removal of funding guarantees triggered events leading to Ten’s receivership, are offering A100¢ per share for continuing trade creditors and A5.75¢ to other creditors.

However, CBS is Ten’s biggest creditor. It is offering creditors, except for Murdoch’s Fox, a more generous exit package than the Ilyria/Birketu deal.

A second meeting with creditors could potentially entertain the bid, with KordaMentha seeking advice on whether it should change tack.

The bid has come after an August 24 bidding deadline, meaning it could be rejecting on that basis.