Creditors OK reworking of EM.TV’s debt

Restructuring includes splitting assets into 2 companies

COLOGNE — Creditors of cash-strapped German kidvidder and rights trader EM.TV approved the restructuring of $508 million worth of debt on Friday, saving the company from financial collapse.

A necessary majority of 97% of holders of a E400 million ($508 million) convertible bond gave their nod to cut the bond’s annual 4% interest to 0% until February 2006, and to postpone redemption from 2005 to 2007, EM.TV said.

The company announced the proposal in December after reporting third-quarter losses of $52 million that brought down its equity to around $112 million.

Restructuring includes splitting EM.TV’s assets into two holding companies, one containing its 45% stake in German film/TV biz Tele Munchen Group earmarked for sale, the other holding EM.TV’s remaining assets. Bondholders will pick up a 60% stake in the latter. That holding will be merged with the old EM.TV holding to form a new group listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

EM.TV also might face the termination of a license deal for a programming package signed with Haim Saban-owned TV group ProSiebenSat 1.

(Ed Meza in Berlin contributed to this report.)

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