Mediaset Exits Endemol With Debt Sale

Italian broadcaster Mediaset has sold 6% of senior debt in Big Brother producer Endemol. The amount equals the total of its remaining stake in the Dutch TV giant. In a brief statement, Silvio Berlusconi-controlled Mediaset announced it had sold the stake “on the market.” Mediaset did not provide financials in its statement, but a Reuters source pegged the value at about $96 million. Last year, shortly after Time Warner made an unsolicited $1.4 billion bid for Endemol, Mediaset made a joint offer for the company with private equity group Clessidra. Endemol didn’t publicly entertain the bids and instead focused on restructuring some 2 billion euros worth of debt. In January, the company said it had reached agreements in principle with more than two-thirds of its lenders on a debt-for-equity swap that would bring the 2 billion euros in debt down to about 500 million. Mediaset’s stake in Endemol was diluted in the January agreement that handed control to creditors and, the thinking goes, the company wanted to get out.

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