Time Warner Makes $1.4 Billion Offer for 'Big Brother' Producer Endemol

Endemol is Exploring Options Amid Heavy Debt

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Julie Chen on the U.S. version of 'Big Brother'
Julie Chen on the U.S. version of 'Big Brother' Credit: CBS

Time Warner Inc. made an offer for Endemol, the Dutch producer of TV shows including "Big Brother" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

Endemol said earlier this year that it's exploring options to restructure its 2.8 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in debt because widening losses may cause it to breach covenants on its loans. Now Time Warner has presented a new possibility.

"We've received an approach from them which offers an alternative to the lenders as the talks on debt restructuring are continuing," Charlie Armitstead, an Endemol spokesman in London, said by phone. Keith Cocozza, a spokesman for Time Warner , declined to comment on the offer and didn't immediately respond to the deal terms.

The bid is valued at about 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) including debt, said two people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named because the talks are confidential. Time Warner hasn't given a deadline for Endemol to respond, one of the people said.

Endemol this week won approval from lenders to extend the waiver of loan terms for a second time until mid-November, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The delay will give Endemol more time to negotiate with creditors.

Endemol last sold in 2007, when a consortium of buyers including Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset and Goldman Sachs Group bought it using 2.8 billion euros of leveraged loans, including 325 million euros of mezzanine debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Endemol's enterprise value has fallen to between 800 million euros and 1.2 billion euros from 3.1 billion euros four years ago, people with knowledge of the situation said in July.

In June, Endemol said chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz resigned because of a difference of opinion about the company's future direction.

-- Bloomberg News --

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