CBS has officially beat out a counterbid from Lachlan Murdoch, co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, for Australian broadcaster Ten Network.
Ten Network shareholders voted “overwhelming vote in favor of CBS” and rejected a higher bid from Murdoch and billionaire investor Bruce Gordon.
CBS originally bid $25.6 million for Ten. According to Variety, Murdoch then swooped in with a bid of $28 million and eventually raised it to $43.9 million before CBS reportedly countered with $40 million.
For its troubles, CBS will receive the core linear channel for Ten, along with digital terrestrial television channel ELEVEN, of which CBS already owns a 33% stake, the DTT channel ONE and Network Ten's digital platform, TENPLAY.
CBS said it will use Ten’s assets to launch CBS All Access in Australia, building upon its previously announced plans to take All Access to new international markets, starting next year with Canada.
"Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia," said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves in a statement. "We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar."
For Murdoch, losing out to CBS represents an “emphatic rejection” by Ten Network employees and shareholders. Murdoch previously served as executive chairman for the network.
Now CBS is taking over the whole of Ten Network, which entered administration several months ago after backers including Murdoch stopped guaranteeing its credit. Ten has been losing money for several years now and reported a loss of $200 million in the first half of fiscal 2017.