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Endemol denies sale as it unveils new business strategy

LONDON - Endemol, the Dutch TV company behind worldwide hit reality show Big Brother, has said its parent company Telefonica is not considering a sale to RTL, as it revealed plans for a new internet business.

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The denial came from Endemol chairman John de Mol, as the company revealed its plans to move into supplying content for mobile phones and the internet.

RTL and Telefonica have been in talks since at least May last year, but de Mol said that these were about how the two companies can extend their relationship and not about a sale of Endemol. However, he refused to rule out a possible deal in the future.

Endemol plans to move half its business into supplying content for mobile phones and the internet within three years. In an interview with the Financial Times, de Mol said: "People will be amazed by the development short-term in mobile and a little later in internet." He also said that only one other telecoms group, Vodafone, would be able to support the convergence of content provision.

Spanish telecoms company Telefonica bought most of Endemol in July 2000 for £3bn, acquiring the remaining £60m share from Guardian Media Group a month later.

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