John De Mol gets windfall as ITV buys Talpa

The Big Brother creator could get £781m from the deal

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The Independent Online

John de Mol, the billionaire creator of Big Brother, is £355m richer after selling his production company Talpa Media to ITV yesterday.

Talpa makes programmes including The Voice and Dating in the Dark and analysts believe the purchase will shield ITV from the threat of falling advertising revenues. Mr de Mol and his management team will stay at Talpa and could make £781m if long-term targets are met. ITV said the final figure would depend on Mr de Mol’s “continued commitment to the business”.

“Of all the potential partners for Talpa, there’s no doubt ITV is the best fit,” the Dutch television mogul said. “It also enables me personally to concentrate... on creating new, groundbreaking content.”

Analysts at Liberum said: “ITV has now [shown] it can both make major acquisitions and return a significant chunk of cash to shareholders.”