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Berlusconi's Mediaset may try to buy Big Brother company

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Berlusconi's Mediaset may try to buy Big Brother company

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Italy’s largest private broadcaster, Mediaset, has said it is considering making an offer for the TV production company Endemol, along with its co-founder John De Mol. Mediaset, the broadcaster controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said Endemol’s content could be positive for its channels.

The Spanish telecoms group Telefonica is selling its 75% stake in Endemol which is best known for the reality show Big Brother. Endemol is worth around 2.7 billion euros. The content provider’s turnover, at 1.1 billion last year increased by almost a quarter on 2005, while net income was 96.8 million euros, which is 17% better than the previous year.

At the same time, Mediaset said it does not plan to make an offer for the Italian broadband firm FastWeb which is Italy’s second-biggest fixed-line telephone company. Chief Executive Giuliano Adreani said: “Investing in telephone companies isn’t our business.” Fastweb has just received a 3.7 billion-euro takeover offer from Swisscom.