Deal or no deal on 1bn euro offer for TV firm

time Warner has offered one billion euros in cash to buy television production company Endemol, maker of Big Brother, which is trying to restructure about two billion euros of debt, Endemol has confirmed.

A company spokesman said Endemol believed it had a future as an independent company and was no more likely to accept the latest offer than it was Time Warner’s previous debt-and-equity offer last month.

“From the company’s perspective, this doesn’t change anything. We’re focused on getting a restructuring with lenders complete,” he said.

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“Those discussions have now entered their final stages. We’re confident an agreement is imminent.”

Endemol, which is owned by Goldman Sachs, Mediaset and founder John de Mol’s boutique investment firm Cyrte, has breached its banking covenants.

A waiver has been extended from mid-November until Tuesday.

The spokesman said the Netherlands-based company is set to beat expectations of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 140m euros this year.

“As far as Endemol is concerned, this is a company that has strong prospects as an independent business,” he said.

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Endemol comprises a global network of more than 80 companies in 31 countries including the United States, Britain and India and specialises in reality TV and game formats such as Deal or No Deal and Extreme Makeover that are sold all over the world.

The company annually produces 10,000 hours of content across other genres including entertainment, comedy, drama, sport, docu-dramas, animation, features and feature films.

Marco Bassetti is president of Endemol Group.

New York-based media conglomerate Time Warner last year bought Shed Media, the UK company behind such programmes as Supernanny, for £100m as it looks to bulk up international programming and add more reality shows.

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