The sale of production and distribution company Endemol Shine has been called off, with senior staff members at the firm being told this week that the company’s co-owners, 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management, have decided to suspend the process, Variety reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.
“With the sale shelved, Fox’s 50% stake will be taken over by Disney as part of the Mouse’s purchase of various Fox entertainment assets,” Variety reports, noting that the acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2019.
“Endemol Shine, the maker of ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Big Brother,’ was put on the block this summer, and shareholders hoped it would fetch upwards of $2 billion. (Its operating revenue in 2017 was about $2.1 billion.) But several big-name suitors ruled themselves out, including onetime favorite ITV and other potential acquirers such as Sony and Fremantle,” Variety notes. “French company Banijay Group had been in advanced talks to buy Endemol Shine in recent weeks, but Fox and Apollo have now decided to preserve the status quo.”
The Variety report adds: “An industry insider with knowledge of Banijay’s bid said that the company had tendered a bid worth about $3.2 billion — $700 million in cash and the rest an assumption of Endemol Shine’s debt.”
The insider is quoted saying: “Endemol backed out because it’s better to not sell for the price that Banijay proposed. … You might as well file for bankruptcy. I think Endemol will have to reduce its debt on its own at this point.”