Cash bid for Endemol in face of debt

TIME Warner has revised its bid for the debt-ridden television production company Endemol, restating its previous proposal of €1bn (£859m) as an all-cash offer.

This comes amid talks of debt restructuring at the Dutch company behind Big Brother and Deal or No Deal, which has racked up €2.8bn of debt.

It is expected that Endemol’s lenders will reject Time Warner’s bid as it currently stands, voting in favour of the debt restructure that will see creditors reduce the debt significantly – to about €500m – in return for equity.

Endemol’s creditors include Goldman Sachs, RBS, Apollo, Centrebridge, Barclays, and the Lehman Brothers estate.

A spokesman for Endemol, Charles Armitstead, said: “The preferred route is to continue to reach an agreement with the lenders rather than consider any offers from Time Warner, or indeed anybody else.

“We’re confident that an agreement that puts the company back on a strong financial footing is imminent.”

Keith Cocozza, Time Warner’s spokesman, refused to comment.

ADVISERS: HOULIHAN LOKEY

PETER MARSHALL

CO-HEAD OF EUROPEAN RESTRUCTURING

Houlihan Lokey is advising Endemol through its debt restructuring process and will be on call to offer its advice on Time Warner’s revised bid.

Leading the team is Peter Marshall, a managing director at Houlihan Lokey and co-head of the firm’s European restructuring department. A specialist in corporate restructuring and turnaround, he has experience in complex cross-border transactions, so should be well-equipped to advise Endemol in this case.

Marshall’s previous clients include Gate Gourmet, Welcome Break Group, 20:20 Mobile Group and JVH Gaming.

He is joined by Gijs de Reuver, a director at Houlihan Lokey. Formerly vice president of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin and an executive director of Goldman Sachs, de Reuver focuses on financial restructuring.

Endemol’s creditors, which include Goldman Sachs, RBS, Apollo, Centrebridge, Barclays and the Lehman Brothers estate, are being advised by Rothschild.

Charles Armitstead is managing Endemol’s communications in this case. He recently left FTI Consulting to work for Pendomer Communications.