Reuters – Endemol in Talks to Merge with Talpa

Dutch television producer Endemol, maker of Big Brother, is in talks to merge with Dutch peer Talpa, which is owned by Endemol co-founder John de Mol, a Dutch newspaper reported on Tuesday, writes Reuters.

Endemol is majority-owned by Dutch asset manager Cyrte, which invests money on behalf of De Mol, and Apollo Global Management after a debt restructuring which saw Goldman Sachs reduce its stake, writes Reuters.

Reuters – Dutch television producer Endemol, maker of “Big Brother”, is in talks to merge with Dutch peer Talpa, which is owned by Endemol co-founder John de Mol, a Dutch newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing Endemol’s chief executive.

Endemol is currently majority-owned by Dutch asset manager Cyrte, which invests money on behalf of De Mol, and Leon Black’s private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) after a debt restructuring which saw Goldman Sachs reduce its stake.

“We are talking with Talpa about our strategy. We are looking at Talpa, and they are looking at us. That is logical. But it is not certain yet it will come to a merger,” Endemol CEO Just Spee was quoted as saying in Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad.

Endemol and Talpa were not immediately available to comment.

Endemol needed to complete the debt restructuring before “strategic steps” could be made, the paper cited Spee as saying.

Italy’s biggest commercial broadcaster Mediaset (MS.MI) said last month it had sold its stake in Endemol, which rose to international fame at the end of the 1990s with the reality show “Big Brother”.

(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Mike Nesbit)