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EM.TV postpones final bank payment

Company works to sell properties

BERLIN — Cash-strapped TV license trader EM.TV, which is in final negotiations to sell the Jim Henson Co., got another temporary reprieve from creditor banks Thursday after paying back half of a $28 million loan due this month.

It has until the end of May to pay the rest, which is the last tranche of a $270 million loan to its Junior division.

EM.TV said its creditors had agreed to extend the loan until the end of July if a deal for Henson is on the table by next month.

Creditors gave EM.TV a three-month extension in January to allow it more time to unload the Muppet factory, after the sale to a consortium led by former UPN chief Dean Valentine fell apart. EM.TV has not revealed who is in the frame for Henson this time around.

Company managed to bring in some revenue last week when it sold its 16.4% stake in local producer-distributor Constantin Film to Swiss-based Highlight Communications for $8.2 million plus a loan from Highlight, reportedly in the single-digit millions.

EM.TV plans to use the money for a bid on the former Kirch sports channel DSF, which it’s looking to buy with German retail group KarstadtQuelle and Swiss entrepreneur Hans-Deter Cleven.

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