Telefonica sells stake in Big Brother TV firm

14th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 May 2007, MADRID - Telefonica said on Monday it was selling 75 percent of its stake in Endemol, which invented the "Big Brother" television programme, to an Italian consortium Mediaset for EUR 2.6-billion.

14 May 2007

MADRID - Telefonica said on Monday it was selling 75 percent of its stake in Endemol, which invented the "Big Brother" television programme, to an Italian consortium Mediaset for EUR 2.6-billion.

The sale valued Endemol at EUR 25 per share, Telefonica said.

The Spanish telecoms firm has made EUR 1.4 bn from the profit.

The consortium includes Mediaset's Spanish media subsidiary Gestevision Telecinco, investment bank Goldman Sachs and Dutch investment company Cyrte which is headed by John de Mol, who co-founded Endemol.

Mediaset is controlled by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest.

Telefonica bought Endemol in March 2000 for EUR 4.8-bn but the firm's new board which took over later that year ruled it was a "non-strategic" asset.

De Mol established Endemol with fellow Dutch producer Joop van den Ende in 1994.

The company shot to fame with its "Big Brother" concept which films the experiences of people living in isolation in a home without television, radio or telephones. The show has become popular with viewers in many countries.

Among its other hit television show concepts is "Extreme Makeover" and "Deal or No Deal".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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