Endemol founder linked with Five bid

JOHN de Mol, the founder of Big Brother producer Endemol, has been linked to a late bid for TV channel Five.

• It is thought John de Mol would use the channel to revive the Big Brother shows end of C4 run. Picture: Complimentary

A deadline for first-round bids for the channel, which is owned by the German firm RTL, passed on 21 June, but it is understood that de Mol is poised to enter the fray with Greek broadcaster Antenna Group. It is believed that Antenna is working on a potential bid with two of de Mol's companies, Cyrte Investments and Talpa Media. Cyrte owns about a third of Endemol, which de Mol co-founded in the Nineties.

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A spokeswoman for RTL yesterday refused to comment, but analysts suggested that de Mol could use Five to resurrect Big Brother and Celebrity Brother, which will shortly end their ten-year run on Channel Four.

Although more than a dozen parties are thought to have expressed an interest in Five in recent months, only four or five are believed to have tabled bids by the deadline.

Analysts suggest RTL is looking for a price close to 200 million (164m).