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UPDATE 1-Australia's Ten Network to raise A$200 mln to drive turnaround
June 5, 2012 / 11:32 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Ten Network to raise A$200 mln to drive turnaround

(Recasts with raising, outlook)

* Share sale priced at 20 percent discount

* Ten in talks to sell outdoor ad unit Eye Corp

* Billionaire stakeholders back share sale

MELBOURNE, June 6 (Reuters) - Ten Network Holdings plans to raise A$200 million ($195 million) to help pay for new TV shows to drive a turnaround at Australia’s third-ranked TV network amid an advertising slump, it said on Wednesday.

Australian print and television networks are facing a tough market, with advertising depressed by a consumer spending drought and competition intensifying on the internet. Media stocks have been among the market’s worst performers this year.

Ten warned that its third-quarter revenue had fallen 12 percent from a year earlier and it did not expect its revenue share in the TV market to improve in the near term as rival Nine Network will be broadcasting the Olympics in July and August.

“Given the uncertain revenue environment and our strategy of investing in programming renewal, the board felt it was important to strengthen our balance sheet at this time,” Ten Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement.

The 3-for-8 entitlement offer, priced at a hefty 20 percent discount, won support from all of the company’s major shareholders, including Murdoch and billionaires Gina Rinehart and James Packer, who will be taking up their full entitlements, Ten said.

Ten is also in talks to sell its outdoor advertising business Eye Corp, which local media have said could fetch more than A$130 million, but Murdoch said the company may fail to fetch an acceptable price.

Ten shares have slumped 24 percent this year, heavily underperforming a 0.7 percent fall in the broader market . The stock last traded at A$0.64, valuing the company at A$669 million ($652 million).

$1 = 1.0265 Australian dollars Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin

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