US private equity firm TPG Capital is planning to partner Harry Sloan, a former chairman of Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, to bid for debt-laden Australian media company Nine Entertainment Co, for around $3.1 billion, Reuters reported, citing a source who had direct knowledge of the matter.
Managing Partner Ben Gray met with Nine's top management this week and could bid for some or all of Nine's assets, which is owned by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, the report said.
Sydney-based Nine Entertainment is Australia's most diversified media and entertainment group.
Its assets include the Nine Network Australia, NBN Television, Australian News Channel, ACP Magazine, a 50-per cent interest in online media company Mi9, and entertainment entities, Ticketek and the Allphones Arena.
Its free-to-air television broadcaster, the Nine Network Australia, reaches over 11.4 million Australians every week and 82 per cent of the total viewing audience.
CVC acquired Nine Entertainment between 2006 and 2008 Australian billionaire James Packer and Consolidated Media Holdings for $5.3 billion in a leveraged buyout.
Nine Entertainment has $2.8 billion of senior debt maturing in February 2013, and a further near-$1 billion of mezzanine debt due in 2014.