ITV is reportedly closing in on a deal to buy John De Mol’s production group Talpa Media. Broadcast first reported the news. ITV is believed to be at an advanced stage of negotiations to acquire the company, which was the creator of hit format The Voice. Talpa has fared less well the with pricey reality format Utopia, which U.S. network Fox cancelled last year after two months.
Big Brother creator De Mol put Talpa up for sale last year. An agreement could close within weeks. De Mol, widely credited as a creative genius, will reportedly stay on board for three more years, with the potential to include a non-compete clause thereafter.
There was no independent confirmation on the size of the deal but some analysts have valued Talpa, which De Mol owns 100%, at more than $750 million. Elizabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group reportedly made a $500 million offer in 2013 which was rejected.
The acquisition, if it goes through, would help position ITV Studios as a genuine global player. The company has been on a spending spree of late, acquiring production companies in the U.S. and UK including Big Talk, The Garden and Leftfield Entertainment.