You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Endemol restructures debt

Existing owners may relinquish control

Endemol has set a plan to restructure its $2.6 billion in debt, a move that will usher in new round of talks with suitors including Time Warner.

Time Warner bid $1.4 billion in cash and stock for the company last fall, then tweaked its proposal at Endemol’s request to offer all cash. But the Netherlands-based group opted to put a hold on deal talk and told Time Warner it would resume negotiations after it straightened out its finances, according to a person familiar with the situation.

A Time Warner spokesman declined to comment. But the company was said to be awaiting word on what kind of sale process Endemol was looking to pursue after reaching an agreement in principle with more than two-thirds of its lenders.

The deal, which the company called “an important milestone,” could cut its debt by about $644 million. Endemol’s three shareholders — Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset, Goldman Sachs’ Capital Partners and outfit co-founder John de Mol’s investment vehicle Cyrte — are expected to relinquish control as their combined stake falls below 50%.

The three will keep seats on the board, but joined by reps of the lenders, which include Apollo Management, Centrebridge, Providence Equity, Barclays, RBS and Lehman Brothers.

As talks proceeded in recent months over the company’s precarious financial position, it sought interest from potential buyers including Time Warner. U.K. terrestrial web ITV was also said to be kicking the tires. There’s speculation that RTL, owner of Endemol’s chief rival FremantleMedia, may consider a bid after the restructuring is complete.

“We are delighted that the majority of our lenders have in principle agreed to the proposed commercial restructuring terms, and we can now enter into the final part of the process,” said Marco Bassetti, global president of Endemol. “Without the constraints of an onerous capital structure, we will be able to pursue exciting growth initiatives and build upon the solid progress that the group has made in 2011,” he added.

Endemol said it will continue to finalize documents for the “legal implementation of a successful restructuring”over the next few weeks.

Provided there are no legal obstacles, the restructuring should draw a line under what has been a tense time for the company, without a CEO since Ynon Kreiz ankled last summer.

Endemol said that it had outperformed its own internal budgets by about 10% last year.

More TV

  • Gillian AndersonX-Files press conference, Century City,

    Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of 'The Crown' (Report)

    “The Crown” has found its Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson is said to have signed on to play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the much-praised Netflix drama series. Anderson’s casting was first reported by the Sunday Times. A Netflix rep declined to comment on the report. Anderson is the latest notable [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content