Endemol strikes restructuring deal with lenders


Global TV production company Endemol announced Thursday (1/20) that it had struck a deal with a large majority of its lenders to rework the company’s financial structure. The move allows Endemol to avoid being taken over by a mega-media company. Time Warner last month made a $1.3 billion offer for the company.

Endemol Group, based in The Netherlands, said a significant majority, representing more than two-thirds of lenders, were onboard for the restructuring. It’s believed the agreement will slash the current $2.6 billion of debt to around $650 million.

“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. A solution that puts Endemol on a strong financial footing for the future is now imminent. 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 as we focus on and develop the creative strategy which lies at the heart of our business,” said a statement from Endemol Global President Marco Bassetti on behalf of the Management Board.

“The agreement for the restructuring of the Endemol debt put away every negative hypothesis on the company future. The solution, announced today, guarantees an important balancing of the capital structure and does not include the sale of any asset of Endemol to third parties,” said a separate statement from Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset. It owns Endemol along with Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Cyrte, the investment company of Endemol founder John de Mol.

Endemol’s best known TV franchise is “Big Brother,” now seen in 87 countries. “The Money Drop” is in more than 30 countries.

Endemol USA is currently preparing to distribute “Steve Harvey,” with the new talk show set to debut next fall.

RBR-TVBR observation: The tough financial sledding for media businesses in recent years was not limited to the US.