Nine in last-ditch debt talks

The future of Nine Entertainment remained uncertain last night as creditors continued talks designed to save the Nine Network owner from receivership.

Hedge funds which control $2.7 billion of Nine's senior debt are attempting to negotiate a restructure of the company with the network's private equity owners, CVC, and Goldman Sachs, which represents holders of $1.1 billion lower-ranked debts.

Hedge funds Apollo Global Management and Oaktree Capital, which own more than half of Nine's senior debt, want a debt-for-equity swap that would give them 100 per cent of Nine.

Goldman Sachs, representing the lower-ranking mezzanine debt holders, who are owed $1.1 billion, is proposing a deal that would give senior lenders 70 per cent of Nine while mezzanine debt holders get the remaining 30 per cent. If the two sides cannot agree by next month there will not be enough time to settle a deal before the first tranche of debt falls due in February. A breach of CVC's quarterly debt covenants could trigger immediate payment of all its debt, according to Nine's financial accounts from last year.