Telefonica sells Endemol stake

Spanish telco Telefonica has sold its 75 percent controlling stake in Dutch TV firm Endemol NV for $3.56 billion to a consortium that includes company founder John de Mol--through investment firm Cyrte Fund--Italian broadcaster Mediaset SpA and Goldman Sachs.

Telefonica purchased Endemol in 2000 for $7.45 billion, so it is now selling its stake for less than it paid seven years ago. The sale isn't a surprise to most. Telefonica announced on March 9 that it planned to sell its stake in Endemol because the company was not part of its core business. Endemol, of course, is known for its hit TV programs such as "Deal or No Deal" and "Big Brother."  On the mobile front, Endemol has emerged as a provider of mobile content. In February, its Endemol USA subsidiary acquired animation developer JoeCartoon, and a week later announced a deal with digital media distributor INgrooves to launch a mobile-focused music and video campaign highlighting MySpace sensation Tila Tequila.

Read more on Endemol
- in this WSJ story.  (sub. req.)