The European Commission announced it had approved the merger in a brief notice on Wednesday. “The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the presence of a sufficient number of alternative players with portfolios of similar content in the countries concerned,” it said, per a translation.
Deadline first revealed that the European Commission would make a deliberation on the deal by the end of June. Securing clearance in Europe was the biggest antitrust hurdle Banijay needed to overcome to complete the Endemol Shine acquisition from Disney and Apollo Global Management, creating the largest independent production group in the world.
Banijay chairman Stéphane Courbit’s French holding company Lov Group will have control over Banijay and Endemol Shine once the deal is complete. Lov will oversee the combined entity, while French media conglomerate Vivendi, De Agostini and Fimalac are the other main shareholders.
Banijay had originally hoped that antitrust proceedings could be wrapped up in six months, but it is now eight months since the deal was first announced last October.
Banijay and Endemol Shine have been operating independently since the takeover was announced. Perhaps the most notable link between the two companies since then was former Endemol Shine International boss Cathy Payne being confirmed as the CEO of Banijay Rights in April.
There has been some industry speculation that Banijay assessed whether to proceed with the deal following the coronavirus crisis, which has shut down production and damaged revenues. But Banijay Group COO Peter Langenberg told Deadline last month that the takeover remains “on track.”
Banijay and Endemol Shine will have combined revenues of €3BN ($3.4BN), and it puts Banijay in control of 200 production labels and global brands including MasterChef, Big Brother, and Survivor.