SYDNEY: Ten Network, which operates five Australian capital city TV stations, is emphatically not up for grabs - or so it and majority owner Canwest both insist.

Speculation about a sale had been rife until last week, when billionaire Bruce Gordon took a 10.9% stake in the business, effectively blocking any likely change in ownership.

Gordon's move was hailed by Ten executive chairman Nick Falloon as a "nice healthy vote of confidence". He added however, that the obliging billionaire is unlikely to be offered a seat on Ten's board given that he also owns competing Channel Nine stations in Adelaide and Perth.

Maintains Canwest head of international operations Tom Strike: "Our focus right now is on the future of this business as opposed to what we might do with our stake in the near term. We're not actively pursuing a sale. There's been no [new] approach."

Strike, together with Canwest president Leonard Asper, now joins the Ten board which, following the resignation of six long-serving directors, now comprises just seven members.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff