Just days after Silvio Berlusconi left Italian politics, he’s already on the hunt for Big Media. Berlusconi’s Mediaset and Italian private equity firm Clessidra have entered a joint bid for Dutch reality TV giant Endemol. “We have presented our offer with Clessidra,” Mediaset vice chairman (and the former prime minister’s son) Pier Silvio Berlusconi confirmed Thursday, according to reports from Milan. No terms were disclosed. But earlier this month Mediaset’s CFO said the company would invest more money in Endemol if there were a “clear strategy” for the company.
When queried about the Mediaset/Clessidra bid, Endemol spokesman Charlie Gardner told Deadline, “Our focus is on the restructuring of our debt. Those discussions are progressing well and we’re confident of a positive outcome soon.” Mediaset currently owns around a third of Endemol, whose other owners are Goldman Sachs’ Capital Partners and John de Mol’s investment vehicle Cyrte. Time Warner recently made a $1.4 billion unsolicited offer for Endemol which the target put on hold as it proceeds with a debt restructuring.