No debt deal but wriggle room at Endemol

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The Independent Online

The Big Brother TV producer Endemol has won a further breathing space from its banks after failing to reach a deal to restructure its €2bn (£1.7bn) of debt before yesterday's deadline.

The Dutch group's lenders have given it a further extension, known as a covenant waiver, until February. A source close to the company said: "The fact the waiver extension was in place until today didn't mean the deal had to be done today."

The TV production giant breached covenants on its loans in the summer and has now been given two covenant waivers since then. Most of its lenders were said to have backed the deal. But it is thought that at least one bank, Barclays, does not back the debt-for-equity restructuring and would prefer to receive cash. One of Endemol's co-owners, Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset, is also said to be unhappy.

Goldman Sachs and TV mogul Jon de Mol's investment vehicle Cyrte are the other two co-owners. Endemol has said it is not interested in a €1bn takeover by the US media giant Time Warner.

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