Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is looking to build one of the biggest independent content companies in the world with a potential merger of CORE Media Group and Peter Chernin’s Chernin Entertainment into Endemol.

I hear Apollo controls the largest portion of Endemol debt, giving it a stake of about 30% in the company behind such reality franchises as Big Brother. Meanwhile, last year Apollo bought American Idol parent CKx (now CORE Media) for $560 million. Apollo is considering combining the two unscripted TV-focused entities and adding scripted TV outfit Chernin Entertainment to the mix. (Chernin’s company also has a feature division.) In order to bring in Chernin Entertainment, I hear Apollo will likely combine resources with Chernin investor Providence Equity Partners, but Apollo is expected to be in the driver’s seat as the controlling shareholder of a restructured Endemol with CORE and Chernin.

I hear if the plan comes to fruition, Chernin would be the Chairman of the global Endemol Worldwide, while CORE president Marc Graboff would be running the combined company. A merger of the three entities would create an instant TV powerhouse, melding Chernin’s rich Fox deal and the company’s scripted portfolio and CORE and Endemol’s extensive unscripted holdings.

The proposal faces big challenges, says the Wall Street Journal in a report about the potential CORE-Endemol merger, noting that Endemol co-founder John de Mol still has a stake in the company and would prefer to buy out Apollo and other investors to get full ownership. An Endemol exec told Deadline: “We’ve had a lot of this kind of speculation and this is just the latest.” Reps for CORE and Chernin could not be reached for comment.
robert Not So
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2 years
the apple doesn't fall far from the telepictures tree.. wow! -RnsW