RDF Media faces buy-out proposal from directors

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The Independent Online

RDF Media, which makes programmes including Wife Swap and Faking It, received a management buy-out proposal yesterday from a consortium that includes the company's executive directors.

News of the cash offer from a group thought to include David Frank, the RDF chief executive, sent the beleaguered production company's shares up by more than 33 per cent, to close at 127.5p. The decision about whether to accept the deal will rest with the company's independent directors, who include Richard Eyre, the chairman of GCap Media, Tim Weller, the chief executive of Incisive Media, and Maggie Carver, a former director at channel Five.

"An independent committee of the Board of RDF Media composed of the independent directors will be formed to evaluate the indicative proposal," according to a statement from RDF. "This approach is at a very early stage and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made or as to the terms of any such offer, should one be forthcoming."

Patrick Yau, and analyst at Ingenious Securities, said: "Although the financial details have yet to be fully disclosed, we expect that the management team would have to offer a premium of at least 30 to 40 percent on the previous closing stock price of 95.5 pence."

RDF, which is famous for its reality TV shows, hit the headlines last year when Stephen Lambert, the creative director, resigned following the admission that the company had inaccurately edited footage in a documentary about the Queen for the BBC.

The share price fell by more than 60 per cent over the course of the affair. In October it reported half-year profits down 27 per cent and in November it revealed it would miss its targets for the year after both the BBC and ITV put a freeze on new commissions.

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