Talpa and Endemol look at merger options

Talpa and Endemol are weighing their options regarding a merger or greater cooperation.

“We are talking with Talpa about our strategy,” Endemol’s CEO Just Spee said in an interview with Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad. “We are looking at Talpa, and they are looking at us. That is logical. But it is not certain yet it will come to a merger.”

Talpa founder John de Mol retains a stake in Endemol, the company he cofounded in 1994. Talpa is currently enjoying worldwide success with its singing format The Voice and has formed a number of international joint ventures, but the Netherlands-based company is looking to do more on the international stage.

“From our perspective, cooperation with Endemol is of course an option, because of the history it is an obvious partner,” Talpa’s spokesman told TBI. “It is one option, but we have several others; Talpa could set up its own production companies in important international markets or cooperate with other companies.”

Time Warner made an opportunistic move for Endemol while it was in the throes of reworking its debt obligations. The company is keen to point out that it is performing well operationally and is now on a firmer financial footing.

“There is clearly a potential fit, but Endemol is now in a strong position as an independent company,” an Endemol spokesman told TBI. “There are no ongoing formal discussions with Talpa,” he added.