Conglom tables $1.3 billion all-cash offer
Time Warner has renewed its interest in Endemol with a $1.3 billion cash offer, as the indebted Dutch content giant enters the final countdown to reach agreement with lenders.Endemol confirmed in a statement that it had received the revised offer, adding, “We are confident that a solution that puts the company on a firm financial footing for the future is now imminent.” Time Warner’s non-binding bid equals its previous offer of cash and debt for the same amount. Some sources believe it’s not likely to get much traction with Endemol. Company owes $3.7 billion to creditors, which include private equity funds Apollo Management, Centerbridge and Providence Equity Partners. “The focus for Endemol remains on capital restructuring,” said someone with knowledge of the situation. They noted that Endemol is outperforming its budget for the first time in five years, so has sound prospects as an independent entity, and is not planning an auction. That said, lenders may opt for the Time Warner cash offer. Mediaset, the Italo broadcasting giant controlled by Silvio Berlusconi, which owns one-third of Endemol and has made a rival offer for a majority stake, had no comment on Monday. In 2007, a consortium comprising Mediaset, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Cyrte, the investment company in which Endemol co-founder John de Mol is a minority shareholder, paid $3.5 billion for Telefonica’s controlling stake in Endemol in a three-way split. But they largely used leveraged loans that now weigh heavily on the unscripted TV giant whose formats include “Big Brother,” “Deal or No Deal” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Mediaset and Italian equity fund Clessidra have reportedly offered to inject $268 million in Endemol to raise their 33% stake to 51%, with lenders owning the minority interest. Mediaset has reportedly warned Endemol that a restructure could affect their relationship, telling Endemol that it intends to renegotiate all existing agreements.