Sons of Packer, Murdoch sued over One.Tel collapse

Dylan Bushell-Embling
24 Aug 2010
00:00

James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch, sons of two of Australia's most successful media tycoons, are targets of an A$244 million ($217.9m) lawsuit around the 2001 collapse of One.Tel.

The long-anticipated lawsuit, which also targets the Packer family's Consolidated Media Holdings, has been filed by One.Tel's liquidator on behalf of its creditors, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

It relates to the 2001 liquidation of mobile and internet provider One.Tel. Its collapse left creditors including Optus, Cisco and Telstra a combined A$284 million out of pocket.

Packer is the son of deceased media baron Kerry Packer, who owned the Nine television network and publishing empire PBL. Murdoch's father is News Corp and Fox Network owner Rupert Murdoch.

Both sons had been members of the One.Tel board.

The lawsuit centers around the fact that PBL and News Ltd - a subsidiary of News Corp – had in 2001 pledged to underwrite a share issue to raise A$132 million in funds to help keep One.Tel afloat.

The suit seeks to recoup these funds, plus a further A$112 million in interest.

If successful, the A$132 million will be paid to the litigation funding firm fronting the cost for the lawsuit, while the interest payment will go to One.Tel's creditors.

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