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EM.TV avoids insolvency

Bond plan's OK'd, stock soars

BERLIN — Shares in EM.TV soared 37% to e1.58 ($1.97) Monday on news that the German license trader has avoided insolvency after a restructuring scheme to sidestep a $584 million convertible bond payment next year was approved by bond holders.

Although EM.TV twice failed to get the necessary 97.5% approval for the plan, it greenlit the scheme after an ad hoc committee of bond holders voted to cut that majority to 94%, which had already been reached.

The restructuring plan includes turning over to creditors the proceeds from a planned sale of EM.TV’s 45% stake in Teutonic film and TV company Tele Munchen Group plus $25 million in cash. In addition, the bond holders would acquire 60% of EM.TV.

“We have managed to free ourselves from the crushing weight of the convertible bond and are now able to make the final step in the restructuring,” said EM.TV topper Werner Klatten on Friday. EM.TV is allowing for an unspecified grace period for undecided bond holders to accept the offer. The portion of the convertible bond that has not been swapped will remain company debt and could be as much as $30 million, according to Klatten.

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