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Endemol targets France buy

Telefonica is likely to sell company after purchase

Dutch-based entertainment giant Endemol is on course to complete its purchase of Endemol France, which separated from the group after a spat over bonuses, by Jan. 1.

It is understood that a price tag of e300 million ($399 million), subject to various targets being met, has been put on Endemol France, believed to be the most profitable part of the company.

Once the deal is complete, Endemol’s owner, Spanish telco Telefonica, is likely to sell the company in a management buyout worth around $2.66 billion.

Endemol, makers of “Big Brother” and “Deal or No Deal,” announced three months ago that agreement on “the deferred purchase price” of Endemol France had been reached. But reintegrating the Gallic business is proving complex and protracted.

Telefonica has a 75% stake in Endemol. The remaining 25% was floated on the Amsterdam stock exchange in November 2005 but the French business was not included because of the dispute over management bonuses.