Sophie Turner Laing To Leave Endemol Shine Group As Banijay Group Completes $2.2BN Takeover

Sophie Turner Laing
Endemol Shine

Sophie Turner Laing is to step down as the CEO of Endemol Shine Group next week after Banijay Group completed its $2.2BN takeover of the production giant.

Turner Laing has run MasterChef and Big Brother producer Endemol Shine since 2014, but will step down on July 10 and Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti will take control of the combined entity, which will be named Banijay.

The completion of the takeover follows the European Commission providing regulatory approval for the deal earlier this week, eight months after Banijay first announced it was acquiring its competitor from Disney and Apollo Global Management.

Commenting on her departure, which Deadline first mooted last year, Turner Laing said: “This deal bookmarks a creatively rich, commercially successful and relentlessly prolific five and a half years as Endemol Shine Group.

“It has been a real privilege and honour to lead such a talented and dynamic group of people, each of whom has played their part in, and should be proud of, our many collective successes over this time.”

Bassetti added: “The close of this unique deal represents the joining of two businesses built on entrepreneurialism, creativity and people. Aligned in thinking, and approach, we now stand together as the world’s largest international content creation and distribution group.”

LDH, an offshoot of Banijay chairman Stéphane Courbit’s French holding company Lov Group, will oversee the combined entity, while French media conglomerate Vivendi, De Agostini and Fimalac are the other main shareholders. Banijay raised €2.4BN ($2.7BN) in a major refinancing earlier this year to help fund the deal.

Banijay and Endemol Shine will have combined revenues of €2.7BN ($3BN), and it puts Banijay in control of 200 production labels in 22 countries, as well as global brands including Peaky Blinders, Temptation Island, Survivor and Mr Bean.

Turner Laing is not the first Endemol Shine departure since the takeover was announced and, according to Deadline sources, is unlikely to be the last. Other executives who have headed for the door include Lisa Perrin, Endemol Shine’s creative networks’ chief who joined ITV Studios, and Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.

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