* Endemol in process of restructuring 2.8 billion euros of
* Offer values Endemol at 1 bln euros - source close to
By Isabell Witt
LONDON, Nov 4 Time Warner Inc has made a
non-binding offer for debt-burdened Dutch TV production company
Endemol, a spokesman for Endemol said on Friday.
Time Warner's offer values Endemol at 1 billion euros ($1.4
billion), including 600 million euros of remaining senior debt
and 400 million euros of new equity from Time Warner, a person
close to the restructuring said, adding that the rest of
Endemol's debt would be written down if the deal goes through.
Time Warner was not immediately available for comment.
The offer for the "Big Brother" TV show maker should not
come as a surprise as it is performing well and is a highly
attractive asset, the Endemol spokesman said.
Endemol is in the process of restructuring its 2.8 billion
euros ($3.8 billion) of loans after failing to meet banking
covenants. Lenders have agreed to waive this covenant breach
The approach "does not change anything. Our main focus is on
reaching a solution with lenders. Those discussions continue to
make good progress and we are confident that an agreement would
put the business on a firm financial footing," said Charlie
Armitstead, an external spokesman for Endemol.
The broadcaster is owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi's Mediaset , Goldman Sach's Capital
Partners and Cyrte Investments, a boutique firm which manages
Endemol founder John de Mol's investments.
"The lenders would be looking to recoup their loans," said a
London-based analyst who declined to be quoted by name because
he does not officially follow the company.
"It puts the debt holders in a stronger position as they now
have an interested party in the assets, whereas before the
equity owners could hold them to ransom with the argument that
the lenders would not be able to recoup their money if they
pulled the plug and sold the business at an auction."
A spokesman for John de Mol declined to comment and referred
questions to insurer Delta Lloyd , which is the majority
shareholder of Cyrte Investments.