South Korea’s CJ ENM Wednesday announced that it had completed the acquisition of an 80% stake in the scripted business of U.S.-based global premium content studio Endeavor Content. The deal, first announced in November, includes management rights and is valued at $785 million.
The acquisition will give CJ ENM access to Endeavor Content’s portfolio covering a roster of talent and creators and a robust global distribution network, thus strengthening its global content production and multi-studio structure. Endeavor Content’s large library continues to expand, and the company expects to be involved in the production of more than 40 movies and series by 2023. It also transforms CJ ENM from being a key player in the Asia region into a global operation.
Endeavor Content’s Graham Taylor and Chris Rice will continue as its co-CEOs.
“Endeavor Content will be the key driving force for CJ ENM’s global growth” said Kang Ho-Sung, CEO, CJ ENM. “CJ ENM plans to produce and distribute its own content for viewers all around the world with Endeavor Content, now part of the multi-studio, as the global basecamp.”
“Endeavor has retained 20% of the scripted portion of Endeavor Content and has retained the non-scripted portion of the business, as well as certain documentary and film sales and financing consulting services,” Endeavor said in a regulatory filing.
Endeavor Content was formed in 2017 to rev up the content production side of Endeavor, but the move helped spark a two-year fight with the Writers Guild of America over conflict of interest concerns because the company also owns Hollywood’s largest talent agency, WME.
In January 2021, Endeavor reached a settlement with the Writers’ Guild of America that called for it to divest the majority of its interest in the scripted film and TV operations of Endeavor Content, which has co-produced such series as BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” AMC’s “The Night Manager,” Hulu’s “Normal People” and “Nine Perfect Strangers.”
CJ ENM has operations that stretch from film to TV, music and performing arts. Its past film hits include “Parasite,” Roaring Currents” and “Ode to My Father.” Its TV highlights include “Mr. Sunshine, Grandpas Over Flowers” and “I Can See Your Voice.” It also presents KCON, the world’s largest K-culture convention and festival celebrating Hallyu, and the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), Asia’s biggest music awards.