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Ten considering Foxtel investment approach

Australian commercial broadcaster Ten has confirmed it is considering an investment offer from pay-television operator Foxtel.

Australian media reports suggest that Ten is close to agreeing a deal under which Foxtel would acquire a 14.9 per cent stake in the broadcaster for a sum of around A$85m (€61.02m/$65.67m).

Ten confirmed in December that it had received non-binding, conditional investment proposals from a “number of parties.” The latest developments come after Foxtel’s partner on a bid for Ten, media and entertainment company Discovery Communications, exited the process last month.

Ten Network Holdings said: “One component of that (strategic review) process involves discussions with Foxtel about the terms on which it may potentially invest in Ten. Ten will update ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) again when required to do so under its continuous disclosure obligations. In the meantime, Ten urges caution in dealing in its shares on the basis of media speculation about potential transactions involving the company.”

Discussions over Ten’s future come with the rights process underway for two of Australia’s major sporting codes. Rugby league competition the NRL last week said it would bring forward by one year the start of negotiations over its next broadcast rights deal.

The Australian newspaper said the move was designed to exploit the delay in rights talks for Aussie rules football league the AFL. The AFL Commission, the organisation responsible for negotiating the next cycle of domestic rights to the AFL, has elected to postpone talks due to uncertainty surrounding the future of Ten, a likely bidder in the process.

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