Time Warner makes another play for Endemol
Time Warner Inc. isn't going to take no for an answer.
After having its first offer for the Amsterdam-based reality and game show producer Endemol LV rejected, the media giant has come back with a sweetened bid. While the value Time Warner is placing on Endemol -- maker of ABC's "Wipeout," NBC's "Fear Factor" and CBS' "Big Brother" -- remains $1.4 billion, the new offer is all cash, people involved in the matter said.
Time Warner is aggressively going after Endemol because it can provide a steady stream of programming for Warner Bros. to sell around the world and use for itsown international channels. Endemol has a big library of almost 2,500 program formats and makes regional versions of its shows in numerous languages, in numerous territories, including the United States, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the Middle East, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain.
The heavily leveraged Endemol has been working with its lenders to restructure its balance sheet, which has a debt load of about $2.75 billion. In a statement regarding the latest offer from Time Warner, Endemol again indicated it was more interested in resolving its balance sheet issues than a sale.
"Endemol has received a revised offer from TW," a spokesman for the company said, adding that while the offer has been passed on to its lenders, Endemol remains "focused on our discussions with lenders and these have entered the final stages. We are confident that a solution that puts the company on a firm financial footing for the future is now imminent."
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Endemol's "Wipeout." Credit: Jeff Samaripa/ABC