Endemol U.K. shuts drama arm

Company eyes acquisitions

LONDON — Endemol U.K. is jettisoning its drama subsidiary, Showrunner, but — following the change of ownership at its Dutch-based parent — the producer is eyeing up potential acquisitions to grow its drama activities in-house.

Paul Marquess, who joined Endemol U.K. from leading British producer Talkback Thames to set up Showrunner two years ago, is ankling the company by mutual consent.

The production giant, recently acquired by a group led by Endemol’s co-founder John de Mol in a deal worth more than Euros 3.4 billion ($4.5 billion), is best known for reality and entertainment formats such as “Big Brother” and “Deal Or No Deal.”

But Endemol is looking at acquiring indies specializing in drama and possibly other genre now it is no longer owned by Spanish telco Telefonica.

De Mol, who originally sold Endemol to Telefonica in 2000, headed a consortium that included Goldman Sachs and Mediaset, controlled by ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

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