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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Murdock wants to buy Big Brother Makers

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) -- Shares in Television production company Endemol rose as much as 12 percent on Tuesday following a newspaper report that Rupert Murdoch is interested in buying Telefonica's Endemol stake.

Endemol shares were up 5.6 percent at 21.46 euros after hitting a fresh year high at 22.74 euros earlier Tuesday. The shares have more than doubled in price since Endemol's November 2005 listing on the Amsterdam stock exchange.

Spanish newspaper La Gaceta said media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who controls News Corp., was interested in buying Telefonica's 75 percent stake in Endemol. It said Murdoch would buy the stake alone, giving no further details and citing no sources.

Telefonica declined comment.

"It definitely looks like all the news of the past weeks is adding up. Endemol's AGM is in the end of February, so people want to get on board I guess," one Netherlands-based trader said.

Speculation as to who will buy Telefonica's stake in Endemol -- behind such worldwide TV hits as "Big Brother" and "Fear Factor" -- has been rampant in recent months.

Dutch media mogul John de Mol, who founded Endemol with producer Joop van den Ende in 1994 and sold it to Telefonica in 2000, said in September that he had been approached by Italy's Mediaset to form a consortium to buy a stake in Endemol.

On Monday, La Gaceta reported that De Mol, who has a 5.15 percent stake in Endemol, had formed an alliance with U.S. giant Disney to repurchase the Dutch production house.

De Mol's spokesman declined to comment.

Spanish media group Vocento, Sony Entertainment and Time Warner were also named last year as being interested in Endemol.

Endemol's Chief Financial Officer Jan Peter Kerstens told Reuters in September that the company would prefer not to be owned by a broadcaster so as not to strain relations with existing clients.

As per CNN.

Murdock, suddenly this name wants every thing that is there on air he is willing to shell out any figure (which is generally a very big figure for the present senario) Murdock has been very intelligent in making those investments. I wonder what is next in his purchase list??????????????????

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