Endemol targets Dyke to lead £1.75bn float

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The Independent Online
Greg Dyke, the former director general of the BBC, has been approached by Endemol ahead of the media company's planned flotation this year.

Greg Dyke, the former director general of the BBC, has been approached by Endemol ahead of the media company's planned flotation this year.

It is understood that Mr Dyke, who resigned from the BBC more than a year ago in the wake of the Hutton inquiry, is one of the candidates being considered to lead the £1.75bn float. Mr Dyke, who has not had a full-time job since he quit in January 2004, confirmed he had been approached but insisted he had not been offered a job.

Telefonica, the Spanish media giant that bought Endemol for ¤5.5bn (£3.8bn) in 2000, announced last month that it would offer shares in its Dutch subsidiary towards the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

Endemol, which is best known for its Big Brother and Extreme Makeover reality TV shows, has a British creative chief, Peter Bazalgette, while fellow Briton Tom Barnicoat is chief operating officer, leading to speculation it will float in London.

According to weekend speculation, Mr Dyke, 57, is in the running to become chairman of Endemol and would be likely to receive a significant equity stake in the business. His appointment would bolster Endemol's stock market value thanks to his extensive experience in commercial television.

By the time he took up the BBC top job in January 2000, Mr Dyke already had a reputation as one of the most dynamic figures in the media, built on successful spells in charge of TV-am, LWT and Pearson.

Last week Mr Dyke was being linked to the job of chairman and chief executive of HIT Entertainment, the children's character business that includes Bob the Builder and Pingu.

Last year he was understood to have sounded out investment banks and private equity firms about a possible takeover bid for ITV, 10 years after he was ousted from LWT when Granada won a hostile bidding war.

Endemol has a joint chairman and chief executive in Joaquim Agut, the Spaniard who was executive chairman of Terra Lycos before being hired by Endemol in February last year.

Endemol has subsidiaries and joint ventures in 22 countries, including the US, and generated revenues of ¤1.03bn in 2004, 13 per cent up on the previous year.

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