WestLB pulled plug on TV group during buyout talks

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The Independent Online

WestLB, the state-owned German bank, pulled the plug on TV service company Endeva during negotiations for a £100m management buyout.

However, the deal is not dead and talks about selling the operation to its management are expected to resume next week.

Endeva is part of Boxclever, the TV rental operation whose massive debts have caused a crisis at WestLB and its principal finance unit, run by glamorous US banker Robin Saunders.

The need to put extra finance into Endeva to fund its expansion crystallised Boxclever's financial problems and led to a £750m write-off by WestLB. This loss promp-ted an investigation by German regulators and resignations at WestLB.

Endeva's chief executive, Roger Mavity, joined forces with private equity business Alchemy Partners to table a management buyout proposal. Talks were progressing at the start of this week when WestLB had a change of heart and appointed PricewaterhouseCooper as receiver of Endeva and a number of other companies in the Boxclever group. However, Boxclever continues to trade normally.

Tony Lomas of PwC said he would be exploring a number of options for Endeva inclu-ding "the interest expressed prior to our appointment".

Alchemy is understood to still be interested in the operation but will only do a deal if Mr Mavity is involved.

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