ITV is reported to be in the race to buy Endemol Shine, the production company responsible for Peaky Blinders, Big Brother and MasterChef.
The Dutch company is estimated to be worth £3bn. The Times’ reports that ITV is among a number of bidders under the steerage of its newly appointed chief executive, former easyJet CEO Dame Carolyn McCall.
Other bidders are reported to include All3Media, backed by Liberty Global, and Banijay, a French production company backed by Vivendi.
Earlier this year during its interim results, McCall said she wanted ITV to do “more than TV” and that it wanted to make “selective, value-creating mergers and acquisitions” to meet the strategy.
Endemol is being sold by private equity firm Apollo and 21st Century Fox after making an operating loss of €21m (£18.7m) last year.
The Times cited sources close to the auction as saying a frontrunner had not yet emerged.