Endemol claims breakthrough in debt restructuring

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 19-01-2012

After months of fending off takeover offers, in particular from Time Warner, Endemol is claiming to have reached “an important milestone” in discussions with its lenders.
The leading entertainment programming firm, responsible for producing programmes such as Big Brother and Deal Or No Deal, is thought to be in debt to the tune of some €2.8 billion and has been the subject of a number of prospective buy out rumours for the last nine months. In December 2011, in the latest part of its billion Euro attempt to buy the production house, Time Warner made a full cash bid which was rejected by the Endemol board.

Yet despite the debt mountain, Endemol's business has performed well over the past 12 months, outperforming budget in 2011 with year on year growth of approximately 10%, driven by expansion in scripted programming, growth in emerging markets and the continued roll out of both new and established formats such as The Money Drop (now in over 30 countries), and the flagship Big Brother, which aired in 87 countries in 2011.
Now the company says that a significant majority of lenders, more than two-thirds in fact, have reached agreement in principle regarding a restructuring of the Group’s capital structure. Endemol added that the company and its lenders will continue discussions over the coming weeks, and work towards finalising documents for the legal implementation of a successful restructuring.
Commenting on behalf of the Management Board, Marco Bassetti, Global President, and Just Spee, Chief Financial Officer, said: “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."