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ITV bids for Endemol Shine

ITV in the UK has tabled an undisclosed bid for Endemol Shine Group (ESG) after the UK commercial broadcaster cleared its M&A desks over the summer to focus on acquiring the production and distribution giant.

Carolyn McCall

ESG, the producer behind dramas such as Peaky Blinders and formats including Big Brother and Masterchef, hired two banks earlier this year to explore a potential sale that could see it valued at up to US$4bn.

C21 understands ITV’s M&A execs turned all their attentions over recent months to put a together a deal, with CEO Carolyn McCall admitting in an interim results call in July that she wanted the broadcaster to do “more than TV.”

UK newspaper The Sunday Times, owned by Fox boss Rupert Murdoch, reported over the weekend that ITV has made a bid for the company, but added that no frontrunner has yet emerged.

ITV is likely to face competition for ESG from companies including Banijay Group and Liberty Global-backed All3Media, whose interest was revealed by C21 in June.

Recently rebranded Fremantle, backed by Germany’s RTL Group, pulled out of the race earlier this month.

ESG is owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management and was formed in 2014 through the merger of Endemol, Shine and Core Media. It operates in 23 countries and has a catalogue of 4,000 formats across all genres, with a finished tape library of 50,000 hours.

Fox opted not to take full control of the company and instead chose to offload its 50% stake at the same time as selling a slew of its entertainment assets to Disney. With the Mouse House not interested in ESG, the latter was then opened up to outside interest.

Production companies under the Endemol Shine banner include UK outfits Fifty Fathoms, Kudos, Dragonfly and Shine TV, US-based Authentic Entertainment, Shine Iberia and Metronome in the Nordics.

It also operates sales arm Endemol Shine International and subsidiaries such as Endemol Shine Latino, Endemol Shine India, Endemol Shine Boomdog in Mexico and Endemol Shine Australia.

ITV’s Carolyn McCall is due to deliver a keynote at Mipcom in Cannes next month.


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