ITV said Wednesday that it would not make a bid for Endemol Shine. Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster had been rumored to be a front-runner in the race to buy the production and distribution giant.
“In light of continued press speculation, ITV confirms that it has no current intention of making a bid for Endemol Shine Group,” it said in a brief statement issued to investors. ITV’s share price jumped 3.5% immediately after the statement was issued.
All3Media, Endeavor, Sony, and Lionsgate have all been floated as possible buyers of Endemol Shine, which backs production companies that make series including “Black Mirror” and unscripted shows such as “Big Brother” and “Masterchef.”
Fremantle and now ITV have officially ruled themselves out from making a move for the company. Contrary to various reports, ITV never actually lodged a bid for Endemol Shine. Although ITV has vacuumed up production companies around the world over the past few years, CEO Carolyn McCall said last month that the broadcaster would tread cautiously about future acquisitions.
“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.”
Endemol Shine, which is jointly owned by 21st Century Fox and private equity firm Apollo Global Management, has been on the block for several months. In September, Peter Salmon, the company’s chief creative officer, said a sale would be completed within “a month or two.” He added that operations at Endemol Shine were continuing as normal despite the sale process.
Endemol Shine boasts a network of 120 production companies in more than 20 territories. CEO Sophie Turner Laing, who oversaw the merger of Endemol and Shine into a single company, is to receive a special International Emmy next month.