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Last Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Consortium buys Big Brother firm
Big Brother 7 logo
Big Brother is heading for its eighth series in the UK
Endemol, the Dutch television company behind Big Brother, is set to be sold to a private equity consortium for at least 3.4bn euros (2.3bn; $4.6bn).

The group has bought the 75% stake in Endemol held by Spanish firm Telefonica and must now make an offer for the remaining shares.

Telefonica decided to sell Endemol to focus on its telecoms business.

Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, is part of the consortium.

Its Spanish unit Teleinco, Goldman Sachs and Endemol's founder, John de Mol, are also part of the group.

Reality show Big Brother has proved a massive hit and is set to begin its eighth series in the UK this summer.

Endemol is also the producer of television game show Deal Or No Deal.

The 25% of the production company not now owned by Telefonica was spun off in 2005 at nine euros a share. The consortium's new offer equates to 25 euros a share.

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