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ITV distances itself from ESG move

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has said it is not currently pursuing a deal to take over production giant Endemol Shine Group (ESG), despite ongoing press speculation.

Carolyn McCall

The publicly listed broadcaster issued a statement this morning that read: “In light of continued press speculation, ITV confirms that it has no current intention of making a bid for Endemol Shine Group.”

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.

21st Century Fox is in the middle of offloading its stake in the business as part of a sale of assets to The Walt Disney Company. Earlier this year, ESG appointed Deutsche Bank and Liontree to explore the possibility of a US$4bn sale.

Banijay Group and Liberty Global-backed All3Media have been strongly linked with moves, but the ITV link has persisted most strongly, culminating in a an article in the Sunday Times – owned by Fox boss Rupert Murdoch – a month ago saying the broadcaster had made a bid.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said in an interim results call in July that she wanted the broadcaster to expand and do “more than TV.”

ESG is the producer behind dramas such as Peaky Blinders and formats including Big Brother and Masterchef. Prodcos under its 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.


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