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Time Warner makes €1bn cash bid for Big Brother maker

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Time Warner has offered €1bn (£847m) in cash to buy television production company Endemol, maker of Big Brother.

Endemol has until tomorrow to come to an agreement with its creditors over a reorganisation of its debt after breaching its banking convenants.

Charles Armitstead, a London-based spokesman for the Dutch company, said that the company was no more likely to accept the latest offer as it believed it had a future as an independent company and becuase the revised bid had the same value as Time Warner’s previous offer.

According to Armitstead, Time Warner’s earlier offer of circa €1bn included debt.

“From the company’s perspective, this doesn’t change anything. We’re focused on getting a restructuring with lenders complete. Those discussions have now entered their final stages. We’re confident an agreement is imminent,” said Armistead.

“As far as Endemol is concerned, this is a company that has strong prospects as an independent business,” he added.

Endemol, whose other formats include Deal or No Deal and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, is reorganizing €2.8bn in debt because widening losses may cause it to further breach covenants on its loans.

The TV production company is currently owned by Goldman Sachs, Mediaset and the investment firm Cyrte, which is owned by John de Mol, Endemol’s original founder.

Time Warner, owner of Warner Bros. and HBO, bought London-based TV group Shed Media Group, for £100m ($156 million) last year. Shed Media produces shows such as “Supernanny” in the U.K. and “Basketball Wives” in the U.S.




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