De Mol ponders buying Endemol stake

Tycoon takes interest in former company

Reality TV tycoon John de Mol confirmed Thursday that he is mulling buying a stake in his former company Endemol with Silvio Berlusconi’s Italo broadcaster Mediaset.

“It is true that we have been talking to Mediaset who has asked us to join them in a deal with Endemol, and that’s an option,” de Mol told Reuters.

Endemol’s major stakeholder, Spanish telco giant Telefonica, is expected to sell its 75% stake in the “Big Brother” and “Deal No Deal” producer by the end of the year.

According to report in London’s Daily Telegraph earlier this month, six private equity groups have also held talks with Endemol executives about a $2.3 billion management buyout.

De Mol said that if he were to buy a stake in Endemol he would not be involved in the day-to-day operations.

“My role would be to supply creative ideas and successful formats,” he said.

De Mol founded Endemol with producer Joop van den Ende in 1994. The pair sold it to Telefonica in 2000 for $6.9 billion.