Time Warner still hoping to strike deal for Endemol
It appears that Time Warner and Endemol may be playing a real-life version of "Deal or No Deal."
Almost three weeks ago, Time Warner Inc. made an unsolicited bid of $1.4 billion for Endemol NV, an Amsterdam-based television production giant that specializes in game and reality shows, with credits that include "Wipeout," "Deal or No Deal" and "Fear Factor." Time Warner made the bid at a sensitive time for Endemol as it works with its creditors to restructure its heavily leveraged balance sheet.
On Monday, word surfaced that Endemol had told Time Warner thanks but no thanks for its offer. Though the company has declined to comment publicly on the status of Time Warner's bid, a person close to Endemol said the focus was on fixing its balance sheet, not finding a new owner.
If Endemol is in fact passing on the bid, it is news to Time Warner, an insider there said. Time Warner has received no official rejection of its offer for Endemol, this person said and is not throwing in the towel on its push to acquire the programming giant.
Like Endemol, Time Warner declined to comment publicly on the matter.
There are some inside Time Warner who think Endemol is trying to see if any other buyers emerge so it can set up a bidding war. However, a person close to Endemol with knowledge of the matter said no other offers have come in since Time Warner's unsolicited bid.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Endemol's "Wipeout." Credit: Adam Larkey/Associated Press