ITV enters race to buy Peaky Blinders, Big Brother and The Fall maker Endemol Shine
UK media titan ITV has entered the race to snap up the production company behind shows such as Big Brother, Peaky Blinders and The Fall, Endemol Shine.
The Dutch company, which is worth around $4bn (£3bn) is owned jointly by private equity firm Apollo and 21st Century Fox, and has also attracted a number of other potential suitors.
It comes as the big British broadcasters scrabble to beef up their content in the face of tough competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
A move for Endemol would likely require ITV boss Carolyn McCall to be funded in part by a shares or rights issue.
If successful, the deal would represent a major sign of intent for McCall, who took the reins after seven years as boss of budget airline EasyJet.
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At ITV's interim results in July, McCall showed strong results from the success of its World Cup broadcasts and reality show Love Island as she unveiled details of a new strategy to transform the business and grow revenues.
The production of more original content was part of her plan, as well as growing sales from competitions and increasing its events offerings.
McCall also confirmed plans were in the works for ITV to launch a new streaming platform besides its current ITV Hub service. Reports over the summer suggested ITV was ready to team up with BBC and Channel 4 to launch the service, which would give viewers exclusive access to programming from the three broadcasters for a monthly fee.
Endemol was founded in 1994 by John de Mol and Joop van den Ende, before it was picked up by Spanish telco giant Telefonica in 2000.
It floated in 2005, was taken private by a consortium led by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, before being picked up by Apollo in 2012. In 2014, it merged with Fox's Core Media and Shine Group.
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