Channel Ten enters trading halt … Westpac outage dampens long weekend … Plutus Payroll placed in voluntary administration


By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn. 

Ten Network Holdings has been placed in a trading halt until Thursday.

The company told the the market on Tuesday that two of the shareholders guaranteeing the TV network’s loan facility have refused to extend support for it beyond December.

The Australian reports financial advisors for Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon have informed the network they do not intend to provide support for Ten’s $200 million loan facility with the Commonwealth Bank after its expiration on December 23.

“Ten’s Board is considering the position of the company in light of the position being taken” by the two shareholders, company secretary Stuart Thomas said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Westpac’s long weekend woes

Westpac customers faced a 24-hour knockout of mobile and online banking systems over the long weekend.

The big four bank has apologised to its clients for the issue, which rendered mobile and online services unusable from the morning of June 11.

Even after bringing systems back online, the bank has acknowledged on social media this morning that “a limited number” of customers were still affected.

This is not the first significant outage for the bank so far in 2017, with ARNet reporting Westpac also experienced a major glitch in February that knocked systems out for a day.

Company at centre of Operation Elbrus in voluntary administration

Plutus Payroll, the company at the centre of the alleged $165 million in tax fraud uncovered last month by the Australian Federal Police, has entered voluntary administration.

David Iannuzzi and Vincent Pirina from Veritas Advisory have been appointed administrators, and ARNet reports all creditor claims will be put on hold while the insolvency practitioners investigate the company’s affairs.

Last month, a former director of the company was arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth, with the AFP saying in a statement it was alleged “the man was a former director of the payroll company who continued to manage it during the conspiracy”.

Plutus was allegedly purchased in mid-2016 by private equity firm SYNEP, which Adam Cranston, the son of Australian Taxation Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, is alleged to have controlled.

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