Nine Entertainment Co has announced it has reached a deal with its creditors and is now "debt free".
The deal, which saves the company from falling into the hands of administrators, was struck during a meeting between Nine executives and the company’s lenders in Sydney this afternoon.
"Channel Nine's back," Nine CEO Mr Gyngell told reporters outside the meeting.
"[It] is going to be a debt free company which makes it the most powerful media balance sheet in the country."
The last-hour deal comes after months of speculation about the future of the broadcaster and fears that the company may be forced to call in administrators.
Nine has been in tense refinancing negotiations with its warring creditors, who were owed a total of $3.3 billion.
With the deadline for a deal to offload the debt fast approaching, the negotiations moved to crisis talks with executives from Goldman Sachs and two US hedge funds, Oaktree and Apollo.
Moments after signing the deal to remove all of Nine's debt, Mr Gyngell emerged from the meeting with a strong message for the network's doubters.
"All the doomsayers out there will have to eat their words," Mr Gyngell said.
"We've never had a more powerful balance sheet."
Nine owed $2.3 billion to Apollo and Oaktree and a further $1 billion to Goldman Sachs.
Details of the deal, which is believed to include a debt-for-equity swap, have not yet been released.
Mr Gyngell said the deal was a positive outcome for the broadcaster, which is now "ready to rock and roll next year".
"I'm not sure if all the players are happy, but I certainly am."
Despite its recent debt woes, Nine has remained profitable with earnings of $250 million for the last financial year.
Mi9, the publisher of ninemsn, is a joint venture between Nine Entertainment Co and Microsoft.
Author: Matthew Henry. Approving editor: Henri Paget