Vivendi-backed Banijay and Endemol Shine’s joint owners, Disney and Apollo, are understood to have scheduled a meeting for Thursday after talks accelerated in recent days, with Banijay now on the brink of finally closing a deal for a big asset it has been chasing.
Numerous industry players have taken a look at Endemol Shine, a huge production and content sales operation that has shows including “Black Mirror” and “Big Brother” in its deep catalogue. Eighteen months of on-and-off talks with various suitors have so far failed to reach a deal. All3Media dropped out of negotiations in recent weeks.
A source with knowledge of the situation told Variety that the purchase price of the proposed Banijay deal will be in the region of €2 billion ($2.2 billion). The source said Vivendi’s backing has been key to moving a deal forward. Another industry sources said that, out of the €2 billion, €1.75 billion would cover Endemol Shine’s debt, meaning that Banijay would be acquiring Endemol Shine’s catalogue and production companies for something in the range of €250 million.
Combining Banijay and Endemol Shine would create the largest TV producer-distributor in the market outside of the Hollywood studios and U.S. players. The merged company woudl have production companies on both sides of the Atlantic, a huge catalogue and sizable sales arms. There would be some overlap on the distribution side, however, and streamlining the sales operations would result in possibly major job cuts.
Banijay had been in advanced talks with Endemol Shine’s owners before, without a deal being finalized, but sources suggested that this time an agreement seems likely.
It would bring to an end a protracted sale process that has seen the likes of ITV, Fremantle, Endeavor Content and Sony among the numerous players that reportedly kicked the tires of a possible purchase..
Britain’s Daily Telegraph was the first to report the latest news on the potential sale.