Berlusconi's Mediaset Makes Bid for Endemol

Disgraced former Italian premier isn't letting a sex trial get in the way of building his media empire

Throw another hat in the ring when it comes to the bid to own Dutch TV production company Endemol.

Broadcast company Mediaset, owned by the family of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, is making a play for Endemol, in a joint effort with Clessidra, an Italian private equity fund, Reuters reports.

Berlusconi recently stepped down from his political office amid accusations that he paid for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan girl, then used his authority to cover it up.

Also read: Time Warner Bids $1.4B for Endemol

On Thursday, Mediaset vice chairman Pier Silvio Berlusconi — the disgraced politician's son — told reporters of the potential purchase, saying, "We have presented our offer with Clessidra."

Mediaset already owns a stake in Endemol, though that investment is at risk due to the Dutch company's current financial woes. Endemol, which produces such series as "Big Brother," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Deal or No Deal," is saddled with about $3.74 billion in debt, which it must restructure. The company was recently devalued because of the debt.

Also read: Clooney Tells Berlusconi Over Sex Trial: Do I Know You?

Despite that, Endemol has its suitors. Aside from Mediaset, Time Warner reportedly made a $1.4 billion bid for the company earlier this month.

In the meantime, Berlusconi is awaiting trial for his alleged sex crimes.