Castle Harlan Affiliate to Buy Stake in Australian Satellite TV Company
Australian private-equity investment firm Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Partners Pty. Ltd. (CHAMP) would become the largest shareholder in Australian satellite TV firm Austar United Communications Ltd. under a bankruptcy reorganization plan put forward by CHAMP.
Austar is the only provider of satellite pay TV in rural Australia, with more than 400,000 subscribers.
Under the plan, CHAMP is offering US$34.5 million (A$61 million) for United Australia Pacific’s majority interest in Austar. The plan has been recommended by the UAP secured creditors’ committee. It is expected that a creditors’ vote on the plan will occur in late February 2003. The plan’s acceptance is subject to approval by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and by Austar’s bank lenders.