Sloan & TPG Eye A $3B Bid For Australia's Nine Entertainment

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

The hedge fund which bought Australia’s Nine Network and magazine group from James Packer for $A5.5 billion in 2007 and has since struggled to pay down the debt may have find a lifeline- although it may be forced to take a sizable haircut.  Hollywood mogul Harry Sloan is teaming with private equity group TPG to launch a $3 billion bid for Nine Entertainment Co., according to The Australian Financial Review. Nine’s owner, CVC Asia Pacific, is under pressure to do a deal as it is obliged to repay $2.8 billion in senior debt in February 2013. It also owes about $1 billion to mezzanine or second-tier lenders led by a Europe-based Goldman Sachs fund. The paper said TPG managing partner Ben Gray met with Nine chief executive David Gyngell and other senior management in Sydney this week.  Nine comprises  east coast free-to-air TV stations, ACP Magazines, the Ticketek agency, the Allphones Arena in Sydney  and a 50 per cent share in NineMSN. In May the Fin Review reported Sloan had met with CVC Australia boss Adrian McKenzie to discuss a proposal whereby Sloan’s  Global Eagle Acquisition Corp.  would raise the capital to pay back Nine’s senior lenders and take a controlling stake in a refinanced Nine listed on the Nasdaq. (more…)

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