Banijay has agreed a €2BN ($2.2BN) takeover of Endemol Shine Group, marking the end of a protracted sales process for the giant production company behind shows including Black Mirror. It comes 18 months after Deadline broke the news that Endemol Shine was set to go on the block.
France-based Banijay emerged as the favorite to acquire Endemol Shine earlier this week and last night put to bed its deal with the company’s owners Disney and Apollo Global Management, subject to a six-month antitrust review. Financials were not disclosed but Deadline understands the deal is worth €2BN.
Endemol Shine previously courted interest from the likes of All3Media and Fremantle as part of its sales process, which went up a gear over the summer when it conducted a beauty parade with interest from more than 10 prospective buyers, according to a source.
The agreement makes Banijay the biggest independent production company in the world, with combined revenues of €3BN, and puts it in control of 120 production labels, 66,000 hours of content, and global brands including MasterChef, Big Brother, and Peaky Blinders. Banijay already owns 80 production companies and makes shows like Survivor and Temptation Island.
Banijay is funding the €2BN deal through a capital increase and debt financing, which includes a “committed full refinancing” of Banijay and Endemol Shine’s existing debt supported by Deutsche Bank, Natixis and Société Générale. Endemol Shine has a significant debt pile, estimated to be under €2BN.
The combined group will be 67.1% controlled by LDH, a holding company majority-owned by Banijay chairman Stéphane Courbit’s investment vehicle Financière LOV, and 32.9% by French media conglomerate Vivendi. LDH’s shareholders include Italy’s De Agostini Group and French billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière’s Fimalac, which own 36% and 12% of the holding company respectively following the Endemol Shine deal. Courbit owns 52% of LDH.
Banijay’s top team has deep links to Endemol Shine Group. CEO Marco Bassetti founded Endemol Italy and later became Endemol Group’s chief executive before stepping down in 2012. Banijay chairman Courbit was previously the CEO of Endemol France.
Bassetti said: “Endemol Shine brings an incredible array of industry-leading talent, globally-renowned brands and high-quality creative content. Combining the resources of these two companies will instantly strengthen our position in the global market, and our capabilities across genres will further define us as a go-to provider of first class IP worldwide. Welcoming the Endemol Shine brands and talents to our existing business will signal enhanced opportunities in the marketplace, and we are all excited by what the future holds for the combined entity.”
Endemol Shine CEO Sophie Turner Laing added: “This deal takes us into a whole new and exciting chapter and into a new enhanced global content house with many opportunities ahead.”