Rupert Murdoch joins challenge to CBS takeover of Australia's Channel Ten

Alys Key
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Murdoch has thrown his weight behind his son's bid for Channel Ten (Source: Getty)

He may still be trying to get approval for the 21st Century Fox takeover of Sky, but Rupert Murdoch has decided to wade into another ownership battle.

The media magnate's 20th Century Fox joined a court challenge today in an attempt to block US network CBS from taking over Australia's Channel Ten.

Murdoch joins his son Lachlan and fellow media owner Bruce Gordon, who launched legal proceedings earlier in the month after CBS swooped in to offer to buy the network with a rival bid.

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Channel Ten went into administration three months ago amid a ratings decline.

Lachlan Murdoch’s company Illyria and its Australian partner had informed Ten overnight on Monday that they “wish to in some way reopen their offer by opening negotiations”, Ten lawyer Richard McHugh told the court.

Details of the offer have not been disclosed but McHugh said that Illyria had yet to offer anything that could be put to Ten's creditors.

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But Murdoch and Gordon's lawyer Andrew Bell SC told the court his clients were actually the highest bidders, putting 10 per cent more on offer than CBS. He said their bid should have been put to the creditors.

It is understood that CBS is prepared to pay 201.1m Australian dollars (£122m) for the network.

CBS is one of Ten's largest creditors, meaning Murdoch and Gordon argue it should not be allowed to vote at the creditors' meeting on any potential buyout.

20th Century Fox is also a major creditor to Ten.

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