| SYDNEY, June 24
SYDNEY, June 24 U.S. specialty media buyout firm
Providence Equity Partners LLC is in discussions to buy
struggling Australian broadcaster Ten Network Holdings,
a source with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters on
A deal would represent an embarrassing exit for some of
Australia's most powerful people who have taken large stakes in
the broadcaster. However it may also come as a relief to smaller
shareholders who have watched their investments struggle amid
sluggish advertising revenue for media companies.
Ten counts mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, Australia's
richest person, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch's son
Lachlan Murdoch, billionaire casino mogul James Packer, and
regional television station owner Bruce Gordon as its four
biggest shareholders, according to its latest annual report.
Providence is in preliminary talks with Ten executives about
a possible buyout, said the source who was familiar with the
situation but not authorised to comment publicly.
The talks were in very early stages and there was no
guarantee of a sale, the source added.
A spokesman for Ten did not return calls and a spokesman for
Providence declined comment.
Ten has struggled with falling ratings and on June 19 issued
a profit warning, saying it expects television revenue to drop
by as much as 4.5 percent in the 2014 financial year compared to
the previous financial year.
The company's shares were trading flat A$0.252, 34 percent
below their year high of A$0.38 reached in January.
(Editing by Stephen Coates)