Apollo set for €2bn Endemol restructuring

US private equity firm Apollo has managed to acquired a two-thirds majority position in the TV company's debt, paving the way for a debt-for-equity restructuring.

A €2 billion (£1.7 billion; $2.9 billion) restructuring of Dutch TV company Endemol is imminent now that US distressed debt group Apollo Global Management has successfully built up a majority holding of the company’s debt, a source close to the situation said.

Big Brother producer Endemol is understood to be broadly supportive of a restructuring process on the basis it hopes to address the burdensome debt package used to fund its acquisition via a leveraged buyout in 2007. Goldman Sachs, Italian media group Mediaset and Cyrte Fund II, (managed by Dasym Investment Strategies founded by John de Mol), acquired Endemol that year for €2.8 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Endemol’s debt is comprised of about €1.4 billion of senior debt, €350 million of second lien and €250 million of mezzanine, Reuters said.

Dasym Investment Strategies, which has shared majority control of Endemol with Apollo since April 2012, is understood to be satisfied with cashing out and leaving Apollo the majority shareholder, according to reports.

Apollo and Dasym had not commented at time of going to press. Endemol declined to comment.

Apollo has acquired more than €600 million of first lien Endemol debt from RBS, Centerbridge, Lehman and Goldman Sachs in the secondary market, according to Reuters.

As a result, Apollo now holds more than two thirds of the debt and could potentially take control of the company through a debt-for-equity swap, a plan first mooted two years ago.

Talks on a solution for the company’s debt have been at a stalemate since March 2012 after Apollo’s debt-for-equity proposal was turned down by UK bank Barclays, Endemol’s biggest lender. Afterwards Apollo bought the debt for 58 cents on the dollar. Given its increased stake, a renewed attempt at a restructuring is likely in the near future.