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Endemol restructuring enters final phase

Endemol said today that most of its lenders have now agreed on a restructuring plan for the debt-laden production and distribution giant. The company said it has reached a milestone in the restructuring process whereby over two-thirds of lenders are agreed on principle on the future shape of the company and its financial structure.

It added that talks are continuing with a view to finalising a capital restructuring deal within weeks. The deal will reportedly involve Endemol’s lenders taking an ownership position in the company while slashing its debt load to about €500 million.

In a joint statement, issued this morning, Marco Bassetti, Endemol’s global president, and Just Spee, CFO, 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.”

The statement continued: “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.”

Endemol noted that it recorded 10% year on year growth in 2011off the back of a push into scripted programming, growth in emerging markets and TV formats, the part of the business for which it is best known.

Endemol has a debt pile of about €2.7 billion. It has rejected a US$1.4 billion approach from Time Warner. Mediaset and finance house Clessidra also submitted a joint bid for Endemol. Mediaset was part of a group including Goldman Sachs and a John de Mol investment vehicle that acquired Endemol for €2.8 billion in 2007.