Creditors want to take over Dutch TV giant Endemol: report
The creditors of Dutch television production company Endemol, owner of top reality show brands, are planning to take control and convert the debt into shares and sell them, Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore said on Wednesday.
"The hypothesis of converting debt into shares is strengthening among creditors" including hedge funds ahead of a December 13 deadline for an agreement on Endemol's 2.8-billion-euro debt ($3.8-billion), the report said.
The creditors "would become majority shareholders" and would then auction off the company" -- an option that would reject a takeover offer from former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's company Mediaset, Il Sole said.
Endemol is currently controlled by Mediaset, Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs and Cyrte Investments, an investment fund belonging to Endemol's founder John De Mol. Each of the partners holds 33 percent of the Dutch company.
"Several European and US media giants" including Britain's ITV and Germany's RTL are interested in buying up the production company, Il Sole said.
Mediaset's offer for Endemol was judged "too low" by creditors and an earlier offer by US media giant of around 1.0 billion euros was also rejected.
© 2011 AFP