Agency heavyweight Endeavor is among the companies exploring a bid for Endemol Shine, the production and distribution powerhouse jointly owned by 21st Century Fox and private equity firm Apollo Global, sources say.
A number of companies are already circling Endemol Shine, which has been presenting itself to potential suitors throughout the summer. A senior Endemol Shine executive said Tuesday that a sale is expected to be completed within the next several weeks.
ITV, Lionsgate and Sony are all thought to be interested in acquiring the company behind “Peaky Blinders,” “Black Mirror,” and “Big Brother.” RTL, which owns rival giant Fremantle, has ruled itself out of the bidding.
Endeavor does not appear to have made an actual bid yet, and it’s unclear how far down the path it is willing to go in what would be a hefty acquisition. But the company has been expanding its production and distribution operations, selling such acclaimed shows as “The Night Manager” and “Killing Eve” internationally, and Endemol Shine would bolster its activities in both areas.
Although ITV, which has acquired a raft of production assets in recent times, is considered the frontrunner, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster has not commented publicly on the matter. Earlier this week, ITV CEO Carolyn McCall sounded a cautious note.
“Whatever we looked at from now onwards would have to be very financially disciplined because we’re not just growing for growth, we’re growing to profitably grow and to give returns to shareholders,” McCall said. “We have to be incredibly disciplined about any acquisition we make, whether that’s small or large.”