Time Warner offers €1bn for Endemol

Time Warner has offered 1 billion euros (£847m) in cash to buy television production company Endemol, maker of Big Brother, which is trying to restructure about 2 billion euros of debt, an Endemol spokesman said on Monday.

The 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. "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 140 million euros this year.

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

Endemol operates 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.

New York-based media conglomerate Time Warner last year bought Britain's Shed Media, the company behind such programmes as Supernanny, for 100 million pounds ($156 million) as it looks to bulk up international programming and add more reality shows.