In a move that would create a mega-indie, 21st Century Fox has confirmed its intent to form a joint venture with private equity firm Apollo Global Management which would combine the Fox-owned Shine Group and Apollo-controlled Endemol and CORE Media Group. The deal would be the latest big step in the fever pitch consolidation that’s happening in the global TV production sector. Apollo has been known to be contemplating an Endemol tie-up with American Idol parent CORE Media, and at one time there was a scenario of adding Peter Chernin’s Chernin Entertainment to the mix. If a deal to combine Shine with Big Brother producer Endemol and CORE comes to fruitiion, it would follow such recent major media transactions as Discovery acquiring All3Media (at one time considered a purchase target of FremantleMedia), and the continuous shopping spree by ITV which just last week bought Leftfield Entertainment for $360M. Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox today warned, however, “There can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be completed.” The process is expected to continue several months. The full statement reads: “21st Century Fox confirms its intent to form a joint venture with funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management comprised of Endemol, Shine Group and CORE Media Group. The parties have entered into a preliminary agreement, subject to a number of conditions, which calls for 21st Century Fox and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo to jointly own and manage the new joint venture.” There are no plans for immediate restructuring or executive changes, with each entity in the proposed joint venture operating as they have.
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