November 24, 2011 / 1:26 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mediaset confirms bidding with Clessidra for Endemol

* Bid for majority of Endemol-source close to matter

* Endemol is restructuring debt after covenant breach (Adds further comments from chairman, sources)

By Claudia Cristoferi

MILAN, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Mediaset has presented a joint bid with Italian private equity fund Clessidra for debt-laden Dutch TV producer Endemol, the vice chairman of Italy’s biggest commercial broadcaster said on Thursday.

Mediaset owns about a third of Endemol but its stake is at risk as the maker of the “Big Brother” TV show is in the process of restructuring its 2.8 billion euro ($3.74 billion) debt after breaching its banking covenants.

Mediaset, owned by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, had said it had put together an offer for Endemol but had never confirmed having submitted it.

“We have presented our offer with Clessidra,” Vice Chairman Pier Silvio Berlusconi told reporters on the sideline of an event.

Mediaset has always said it would invest more money in Endemol only if it could have a clear role in running it.

A source close to the matter said the joint-bid from Mediaset and Clessidra was for the majority of Endemol.

The source also said Mediaset owned about 6 percent of Endemol’s debt.

Pier Silvio Berlusconi ruled out that Mediaset could take part in any auction for Endemol if the Dutch group were to be taken over by creditors and re-sold.

Mediaset has warned Endemol the outcome of the debt restructuring would affect their existing and future commercial accords, a source close to the matter told Reuters on Friday, adding the Italian broadcaster and its Spanish arm accounted for about a quarter of Endemol’s core earnings. ($1 = 0.7490 euros) (Writing by Valentina Za; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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