Wires

Australia's Nine makes new proposal on debt with lenders -sources

By Victoria Thieberger and Narayanan Somasundaram

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY, Oct 9 (Reuters) - CVC Capital PartnersLtd's beleaguered Australian television network Ninehas put forward a new proposal to senior lenders to restructuresome $3.2 billion in debt, three sources familiar with thenegotiations said on Tuesday.

It is the first time that Nine Entertainment Co'smanagement has put forward its own plan to try and reach acompromise between the lenders and prevent Nine from fallinginto the hands of receivers, the people said, speaking oncondition of anonymity.

The lenders are discussing a debt-for-equity swap that wouldgive them control of the network and any deal is expected towipe out CVC's $1.8 billion in equity in the business -- thelargest ever loss on a single private-equity deal in Asia.

The people declined to provide details about the freshproposal from Nine management, saying that no agreement had beenreached and none was expected on Tuesday.

CVC and Goldman Sachs, which have had one plan for adebt-for-equity swap rejected by hedge funds that own most ofthe network's senior debt, declined to comment.

CVC paid A$5.3 billion in cash and debt for Nine in twodeals during at the peak of the buyout boom in 2006-2008,overloading on cheap debt just before the global financialcrisis hit.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Aldred in Hong Kong; Editingby Edwina Gibbs)

((victoria.thieberger@thomsonreuters.com)(+61 3 92861421)(Reuters Messaging:victoria.thieberger.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: AUSTRALIA NINE/CVC