Firms on alert for Big Brother company auction

A raft of firms across Europe have been drafted in to advise on the €3bn (£2.04bn) auction of Endemol, the makers of the Big Brother reality television series.

LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae client Telefonica is selling its 75 per cent stake in the Amsterdam-listed group to a multinational consortium that comprises Mediaset, the broadcasting company of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, its Spanish subsidiary Telecinco, Endemol founder John de Mol’s investment fund Cyrte, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

Clifford Chance’s Amsterdam office and Italian independent Chiomenti Studio Legale advised the consortium. Chiomenti has long had ties to Berlusconi and his business empire.

Meanwhile, magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising the borrowers on the debt financing.

At LeBoeuf, the relationship partner for Telefonica is corporate specialist Berge Setrakian in New York. Paris-based corporate partner Stephen Walters is also leading on the deal.