Endemol may bid for Five

Producer interested in U.K. terrestrial channel

Reality behemoth Endemol is mulling a bid for Blighty’s smallest terrestrial web, Five.

It has instructed media law firm Wiggin to prep a bid for the broadcaster, according to local reports.

Were Endemol to buy Five, it would represent a change of direction for the international producer, best known for shows such as “Big Brother.”

Last year Endemol boosted its firepower by acquiring U.K. shingles Tiger Aspect and Darlow Smithson from IMG.

JPMorgan is handling the sale for Five’s owner, pan-European broadcast group RTL, which is understood to have issued a memorandum on the web to several potential bidders including ITV, the U.K.’s biggest private terrestrial net.

ITV would benefit from seeing one less competitor in the consolidating TV sector.

Deadline for bids on Five is June 21, reports suggest.

Five lost £37 million ($53 million) in 2009, and RTL has written down the value of its investment in the web from $712 million in 2007 to $137 million two years later.

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