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NAB sells A$86m stake in CVC-owned Nine Entertainment

15 Mar 2012

National Australia Bank has jumped ship from embattled Australian TV network Nine Entertainment by selling its A$86m stake at about 86 per cent of par value.

Owner CVC Capital Partners is considering its options for dealing with the debt-ridden company, which is loaded with about A$2.7bn due to mature next February

The company used up the last of its equity last November writing off debts accrued by its Singapore-based ACP Asian magazine division, which it sold to Singapore Press Holdings for A$45m.

At the same time it was reported the network’s auditors, Ernst & Young, had expressed doubts the company would stay solvent unless CVC Asia Pacific could renegotiate an A$975m tranche of mezzanine debt due in 2014.

The firm, which saddled itself with assets at the height of the boom, is now having to fight off interest from hedge funds including Oaktree Capital and Apollo Global Management.

It is understood CVC is also looking to sell its Australian hotel and resort company Mantra Group for about A$600m.

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