John de Mol has predicted “further centralisation” will lead to between three and five consolidated super indies dominating the production landscape within the next three years.
This comes as Warner Bros. finalises its takeover of European production giant Eyeworks and, according to sources, FremantleMedia moves closer to taking over UK-based rival All3Media. Meanwhile, de Mol is set to sell the 25% stake in Endemol he owns through his Daysm investment group to American investment group Apollo Global Management.
“There are a lot of production companies for sale – All3Media, Eyeworks was for sale and Endemol was too,” he said. “There were a lot of opportunities and in the next two to three years, you’re going to see further centralisation of about three, four or five bigger global players who have come together to make a stronger global company.”
Talpa Media recently launched its first branded production joint ventures, in the UK, Italy and the Nordic region, and de Mol said a JV strategy would continue until market conditions suited an “Endemol model”.
“We look at every TV market on an individual basis and then determine what is the best way to exploit our content,” he said. For example, in the US we decided it is better to have a fully owned subsidiary, while in China it is better to make commercial deals with individual companies.
“I don’t want to get into a situation where you have an acquired structure in one or two territories and JVs in another 15. I want a steady model. I would only shift to an Endemol model when I know the right companies are available in five or six countries. At the moment, that is not a possibility.”
He added that Talpa was not interested in a large-scale merger with the likes of All3Media at this stage, claiming: “We’re fine as we are.”
Read the full exclusive interview with John de Mol in the April/May issue of TBI magazine and TBI Formats