New year means new owners for Nine

NINE Entertainment's lenders are expected to take ownership of the media group early next year, but they will not have to wait for a turnaround before cashing in.

A deal has been struck that will deliver hundreds of millions in cash to the broadcaster's debt holders as soon as they take possession of the company.

Final terms of the deal are still under wraps but it is understood Nine's lenders reverted to a structure where they will be given an equity stake in Nine and all current debt will be cancelled.

Fresh loans of up to $700 million will be raised, most of which will be paid out to these lenders. The remainder will be available to Nine management as working capital.

When the deal was originally brokered in October, after weeks of tense negotiations that threatened to send Nine into administration, its chief executive, David Gyngell, and chairman Peter Bush crowed about having a debt-free balance sheet.