August 2, 2006

“Big Brother” creator De Mol buys stake in Shed

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

LONDON (Reuters) - John de Mol, the Dutch TV executive who
created the hit reality show "Big Brother," has acquired a
small stake in Shed Productions, the UK company behind
"Footballers' Wives" and other programs.

De Mol already owns shares in RDF Media, which is behind
"Wife Swap" and the Welsh media group Tinopolis, which produces
Test match cricket and "A Very Social Secretary."

The mogul's Talpa Beheer investment firm disclosed in a
regulatory filing on Wednesday that it owns 1.8 million shares,
or about 3.1 percent, of Shed which has a market capitalization
of about 73 million pounds ($136.9 million).

The growing interest in Britain's independent TV sector was
highlighted earlier this week when private equity firm Permira,
with company management, agreed to buy "Hollyoaks" and "Richard
& Judy" producer All3Media in a deal that valued the firm at
320 million pounds.

Bridgepoint Capital bought All3Media in July 2003, valuing
it at the time at about 45 million pounds.

De Mol, who is among the world's 500 richest people
according to Forbes magazine and who owns a Dutch TV channel
called Talpa, has about 15 percent of both RDF and Tinopolis.

He co-created Endemol with Dutch producer Joop van den
Ende. They took it public before it was sold to Spain's
Telefonica in 2000 for 5.5 billion euros. De Mol is reportedly
considering teaming up with others to buy the company back.