(Adds context, broader media stock gains in para 5)
SYDNEY May 8 Shares in Australia's Ten Network
Holdings jumped as much as 48 percent on Monday amid a
broad surge in media stocks at the first trading session since
the federal government proposed scrapping media ownership
A lifting of restrictions is expected to ignite a round of
merger and acquisitions in the media sector, where once-mighty
broadcasters and publishers have been humbled by competition for
revenue with rivals such as Facebook, Google,
Amazon and Netflix.
Ten Network, the nation's third-largest free-to-air
broadcaster, is a prime takeover target since a poor result sent
its share price to record lows late last month.
The stock leapt 48 percent in early trade on Monday, posting
its biggest intraday percentage gain in 28 years, before
settling around A$0.27, up about 22 percent, while the broader
S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.5 percent.
The proposed rule changes come as publisher Fairfax Media
fielded a A$2.2 billion approach from private equity
firm TPG Capital, just days after announcing big
editorial job cuts.
Other would-be takeover targets such as Prime Media Group
, Southern Cross Media Group and Nine
Entertainment Co Holdings also rose between 5 percent
and 10 percent.
Ten had reported a A$232 million half-year loss and said it
desperately needs a loan to continue operating, placing its
future in the hands of three billionaire debt guarantors,
including News Corp Co-Chairman Lachlan Murdoch.
($1 = 1.3528 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Richard