Ten Network has called for a 48-hour trading halt after failing to win a $200 million funding deal from its key shareholders.
The company said it would use the break to assess its loan options without the support of shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, whose guarantee for the current facility with Commonwealth Bank expires on December 23.
Murdoch’s private investment firm Illyria owns a 7.7 per cent stake, while Gordon’s Birketu controls a 15 per cent share. AdNews said Murdoch and Gordon’s refusal to continue as guarantors indicated their lack of confidence in Ten’s debt issues.
Ten is understood to be looking for a new $250 million debt facility. Another option for the company is to enter receivership to escape the expensive content deals with US production studios CBS and 21st Century Fox, which reportedly cost Ten $150 million per year.
In April, after Ten announced a $232.2 million loss for the first half of 2016-2017, the board expressed concerns for the company’s viability to continue operating. “As a result of the matters disclosed, there is a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the directors’ report stated.
Ten’s share was at 16 cent when trading was halted on Monday, down 99.5 per cent from its 2005 peak of $32.1 a share.