REALITY BANKRUPTCY CRISIS HITS ENDEMOL
"A question mark looms over the financial survival of television producer Endemol – the giant company behind Big Brother and Deal or No Deal - as details of its worsening debt were revealed. The Dutch financial daily, het Financieele Dagblad, reported on Tuesday that the TV company’s shareholders had appointed the advisory-focused investment bank Houlihan Lokey to restructure its debt, which is in the region of two billion euros. Endemol is owned jointly by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset SpA and CyrteInvestments, a fund controlled by John de Mol, one of Endemol’s co-founders. The reality TV network was set up in 1994 by Dutch producers John de Mol and Joop van den Ende and has been taken over by several different owners since then. The TV company made a huge international breakthrough with the Big Brother formula and currently operates in some 30 countries. But it seem that the massive financial restructuring plan is not enough to save the company, which, says the FD, is teetering on the brink of insolvency. A huge three-year acquisition spree and a failure to develop new hits when broadcast networks have begun to eschew the reality genre have contributed to its downfall" (source: rnw.nl/english/bulletin/reality-bankruptcy-crisis-hits-endemol).