Home World Business CBS claiming debts of $843 million from Network Ten

CBS claiming debts of $843 million from Network Ten

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Production company CBS International has emerged as the single largest creditor to Network Ten after submitting a claim of $843 million with the broadcaster’s administrators.

Altogether Ten owes secured creditors $129 million and has accumulated losses of $1.3 billion.

Ten's audience report for first half of 2017 reveals overall audience share of 28.6 per cent. Shows like Have You Been ... Ten’s audience report for first half of 2017 reveals overall audience share of 28.6 per cent. Shows like Have You Been Paying Attention? have increased audience share year on year. Photo: Ten

Local production companies for some of Ten’s most popular shows have been listed as unsecured creditors and are collectively owed tens of millions of dollars.

EndemolShine, which is part-owned by 21st Century Fox, submitted a claim for $12.4 million. This company creates ratings winners MasterChef, Survivor, Offspring, and Shark Tank.

The production house that make quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention? submitted a claim for $4.9 million, while creators of Neighbours, Fremantle Media, submitted a claim for $3.1 million.

And ITV Australia, which makes I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! for Ten is owed $3.5 million.

Employees make up the bulk of the list of creditors filed with the corporate regulator by administrators KordaMentha, but most of the $1 billion in value comes from CBS, production companies, banks, and the three shareholder guarantors: Lachlan Murdoch, Bruce Gordon, and James Packer.

About 190 employees of Network Ten and its capital city subsidiaries have put in claims and are being represented by fellow staff members Hugh Riminton, Matt Miller and Rachel Day.

The company that produces MasterChef, Endemol Shine, is owed $12.4 million by Ten. The company that produces MasterChef, Endemol Shine, is owed $12.4 million by Ten.  Photo: Ten

The billionaire shareholders who recently backed out of their personal guarantee for a $200 million loan with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), a move that forced the board to appoint administrators, each submitted claims for $11 million, being the fee they earned for guaranteeing the loan over three years.

CBA has since appointed PPB Advisory as receivers, which has hired Moelis & Co as independent advisors to find a buyer for Ten or recapitalise the business. Moelis are also owed about $165,000 for financial advice provided to Ten earlier this year.

Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer have both registered as unsecured creditors of Network Ten over debts of $11 million each. Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer have both registered as unsecured creditors of Network Ten over debts of $11 million each.  Photo: Rob Homer

Mr Murdoch and Mr Gordon have since submitted an application with the competition watchdog to jointly buy Ten, although this purchase is currently forbidden by media ownership rules.

CBA has submitted a claim for $98 million, which represents how much of the $200 million facility has been used to date. Mr Murdoch, Mr Gordon, and Mr Packer recently agreed to let Ten draw down a further $30 million to ensure the network can continue trading until the end of August.

Fremantle Media, which produces Neighbours, has submitted a creditors claim for $3 million. Fremantle Media, which produces Neighbours, has submitted a creditors claim for $3 million.  Photo: Supplied

And Cricket Australia claimed it is owed $21.6 million by Ten, which is believed to be for the upcoming summer’s Big Bash broadcasting rights. And the tax office is owed $3.6 million. Ten’s commercial competitors Nine and Seven have also submitted claims, believed to be shared costs of news gathering.

The minutes from the first creditors meeting notes that administrator Mark Korda warned a creditors committee of 14 people “may prove unwieldy”.

“He asked if anyone would like to withdraw. No one wanted to withdraw,” the minutes noted.

Apart from the three staff, the committee includes representatives from the guarantors, production companies, Cricket Australia, EndemolShine, MetraWeather (owed $80,000), Starcom Mediavest Group (owed $3.3 million), and CBA.

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