RDF in $78 mil buyout bid

De Mol's Cyrte, RDF board team for all-cash offer

LONDON -- The board of “Wife Swap” producer RDF Media confirmed Wednesday it had received a 52 million pounds ($78 million) all-cash buyout offer from a consortium including its own management and media entrepreneur John de Mol’s investment vehicle Cyrte.

Shares in the U.K. indie surged 47% to 102 pence ($1.53) on news of the takeover bid, which values the producer at 120 pence ($1.79) per share compared to the closing price Tuesday of 70 pence ($1.04)

RDF, one of the U.K.’s most creative factual reality producers, was hit by a temporary commissioning ban by ITV and the BBC last year following controversy over its editing of a royal documentary. It has since struggled with fewer commissions as well as seen its value slide alongside other U.K. media stocks amid economic uncertainty.

Chief executive David Frank and other executives have recommended the bid to the board and discussions are nearing completion, the company said. A decision is expected within the next few weeks.
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