The paper claims the actor is discussing a joint bid alongside Marc Boyan, who founded the international marketing firm Miroma Group. It emerged in October that Miroma had appointed bankers to explore an acquisition when the channel is officially made available.
Elba runs his own production company, Green Door Pictures, but has never owned a media business the size of Channel 4. He is best known for BBC drama Luther and HBO’s The Wire, along with film roles in the likes of Beast of No Nation, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and several Marvel movies.
The British government is set on selling the state-owned Channel 4 to allow it to better compete in the digital era, though the controversial plan has been largely opposed by the industry and seen by many as an ideological deal that could wreak havoc on many small producers.
Bankers JP Morgan reportedly began fielding preliminary offers last month, with a figure as high as £2B ($2.5B) mooted, though the price named in The Sunday Times story today is in line with the £1B initially estimated by the government. Likely bidders from the industry include ITV, Comcast which owns Sky, Paramount which owns Channel 5, as well as Discovery and French company Vivendi.
Deadline has reached out to Elba’s reps for comment. Miroma couldn’t be contacted this morning.