Ten Network Halts Trading as Backers Pull Out


Australia’s Ten Network has requested that its shares be placed on a trading halt, as financial backers Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon will not guarantee further loans to the broadcaster.

Murdoch’s Illyria Pty Limited and Gordon’s Birketu Pty Limited have said that they do not intend to extend or increase their support for the company’s credit facilities beyond the current A$250 million ($189 million) after the loan expires on December 23. TEN said in a statement that its board “is considering the position of the company in light of the position being taken by Illyria and Birketu and the range of restructuring and refinancing initiatives it has underway.”

Trading is currently on a two-day halt, and TEN expects to make an announcement about the board’s determination after that time.

In April, TEN released its half-year financials that showed a 2.5-percent fall in revenue and a loss of A$232 million ($175 million), down from a profit of A$13.4 million ($10.1 million) last year. TEN indicated that a new credit facility would be necessary to meet current debts that need to be repaid to the Commonwealth Bank by the end of December.

Murdoch currently holds a 7.5 percent stake, while Gordon controls 15 percent. James Packer, who has a 7.7 percent stake, is reportedly looking to sell off his shares.