Mediaset makes move for Endemol

Mediaset and Clessidra have submitted a joint bid for Endemol. Pier Silvio Berlusconi, vice chairman of Italian broadcaster Mediaset, which is already a shareholder in the production and distribution giant, confirmed that it had teamed with private equity house Clessidra to make an offer for Endemol but added that the partners will not be drawn into a bidding war.

Berlusconi confirmed the bid at a launch event yesterday for TgCom24, Mediaset’s new round-the-clock news channel. He said: “We have made our offer with Clessidra. I think it is a good offer for the creditors and the future of the company. For sure, we will not participate in an auction if it were to come to that.”

The news comes after Endemol rebuffed Time Warner’s US$1.4 billion bid for the company. Mediaset, meanwhile, was part of a group including Goldman Sachs and a John de Mol investment vehicle that acquired Endemol for €2.8 billion in 2007.

Reports earlier this month suggested that Endemol will reject takeover approaches and pursue a debt for equity swap that could wipe €2.3 billion from its debt pile and give lenders a significant stake in the TV company.

The future of the company will become clearer within weeks as management and creditors seek to resolve issues relating to its €2.7 billion debt before the end of 2012. Creditors are understood to have set a mid-December deadline for a decision on the company’s ownership.

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