Telefonica readies Endemol for sale

Shareholders agree purchase of French arm

LONDON — Shareholders of Dutch TV format giant Endemol approved its planned acquisition of Endemol France on Wednesday, clearing the way for Spanish parent company Telefonica to sell the group outright.

The vote took place at an extraordinary general meeting in the Netherlands.

Telefonica, which bought Endemol for $7 billion in 2000, is expected to launch a long-awaited auction of the “Big Brother” and “Deal or No Deal” producer imminently.

Endemol France was separated from the main body of Endemol ahead of a stock market flotation in November 2005 due to a dispute over bonus payments.

Potential bidders for Endemol have been lining up ever since Telefonica made it clear last year that the company was not a core asset.

One of the most profitable parts of the original Endemol empire, the French arm’s re-amalgamation into the fold was a key for a sale to go ahead.

Among those said to be preparing bids are private equity firms APAX, Cinven, CVC, Permira, Providence and KKR.

Endemol founder John de Mol has been linked with a number of bid partners, including Silvio Berlusconi and Disney.

However, De Mol’s spokesman, Thomas Notermans, told the Dutch media on Tuesday that the TV format impresario was not preparing an offer.

Others said to be in the hunt include the head of Endemol France, Stephane Courbit, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and U.K. broadcaster ITV.

There also has been talk of a management buyout by U.K. chiefs Peter Bazalgette and Tom Barnicoat. The Times of London reported on Monday that this option was looking increasingly unlikely because Bazalgette and Barnicoat would have to resign from their current posts to mount a bid, a move they are not keen on.

More TV

  • THE RESIDENT: L-R: Manish Dayal, guest

    TV Review: 'The Resident' on Fox

    LONDON — Shareholders of Dutch TV format giant Endemol approved its planned acquisition of Endemol France on Wednesday, clearing the way for Spanish parent company Telefonica to sell the group outright. The vote took place at an extraordinary general meeting in the Netherlands. Telefonica, which bought Endemol for $7 billion in 2000, is expected to […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jessica Chastain"

    'Saturday Night Live' Parodies Amazon's Search for a Headquarters Home (Watch)

    LONDON — Shareholders of Dutch TV format giant Endemol approved its planned acquisition of Endemol France on Wednesday, clearing the way for Spanish parent company Telefonica to sell the group outright. The vote took place at an extraordinary general meeting in the Netherlands. Telefonica, which bought Endemol for $7 billion in 2000, is expected to […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jessica Chastain"

    Jessica Chastain Hosts 'Saturday Night Live' With Important Message for Women on the Evening of the 2nd Annual Women's March (Watch)

    LONDON — Shareholders of Dutch TV format giant Endemol approved its planned acquisition of Endemol France on Wednesday, clearing the way for Spanish parent company Telefonica to sell the group outright. The vote took place at an extraordinary general meeting in the Netherlands. Telefonica, which bought Endemol for $7 billion in 2000, is expected to […]

  • Fisher Stevens, Ross Kauffman Team for

    Fisher Stevens, Ross Kauffman Team for Discovery Documentary 'Taken By the Tiger'

    LONDON — Shareholders of Dutch TV format giant Endemol approved its planned acquisition of Endemol France on Wednesday, clearing the way for Spanish parent company Telefonica to sell the group outright. The vote took place at an extraordinary general meeting in the Netherlands. Telefonica, which bought Endemol for $7 billion in 2000, is expected to […]

  • Peter Dinklage Thinks It's 'the Perfect

    Peter Dinklage on Why It's 'the Perfect Time' to End 'Game of Thrones'

    LONDON — Shareholders of Dutch TV format giant Endemol approved its planned acquisition of Endemol France on Wednesday, clearing the way for Spanish parent company Telefonica to sell the group outright. The vote took place at an extraordinary general meeting in the Netherlands. Telefonica, which bought Endemol for $7 billion in 2000, is expected to […]

  • NBCUniversal Content Studio Plucks Peacock TV

    NBCUniversal Content Studio Plucks Peacock TV Talent for Branded Video

    LONDON — Shareholders of Dutch TV format giant Endemol approved its planned acquisition of Endemol France on Wednesday, clearing the way for Spanish parent company Telefonica to sell the group outright. The vote took place at an extraordinary general meeting in the Netherlands. Telefonica, which bought Endemol for $7 billion in 2000, is expected to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content