Ten Network On Firmer Financial Footing Ahead Of NRL Broadcast Rights Bid
Australia's Ten Network has sold outdoor advertising business Eye to oOh!media in a deal worth $145M, "putting the free-to-air network on a firmer financial footing" as it bids for National Rugby League broadcast rights, according to THE AUSTRALIAN. The media company will receive $120M in cash from the outdoor advertising company's owner, Champ Private Equity, and a deferred consideration of $25M payable three years after completion. Ten CEO James Warburton said that proceeds from the sale "would be used to pay down debt and strengthen the balance sheet" after last month's $200M capital raising, as a $120M debt facility matured in March. Ten's group CFO Paul Anderson said that it had not decided how much of the proceeds would be invested in programming, but acknowledged the deal "could boost its interest in the NRL sports rights." Anderson said, "It gives us a lot more flexibility on the balance sheet to do a whole range of things" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/21).