Apollo Global Management and 21st Century Fox – which each holds a 50% stake in Endemol Shine – are believed to have suspended the extensive sales process for the Black Mirror producer after numerous suitors failed to meet their price, meaning that Disney will take on Fox’s 50% stake after that merger has closed next year, and Apollo will also hang on to its 50%.
Ahead of MIPCOM last month, industry sources told TBI that there was a chance Endemol Shine could return to Fox – effectively Disney – if a price could not be met for the business.
Around 12 companies, including ITV, Liberty Global, Lionsgate and Sony showed initial interest in the Sophie Turner Laing-run business – which has been valued at around £2.5bn – but slowly dropped out due to the steep asking price and Endemol’s enduring debt.
Marco Bassetti’s Banijay Group was believed to be the frontrunner over the past month, and it was believed that the Survivor distributor was considering a joint bid for Endemol with another business.
One industry figure told TBI that Apollo will still be keen to offload the business, and could “wait it out” for now, only to slowly sell off portions of their stake in Endemol back to Disney.
Under Disney, Endemol Shine International joins three other distribution entities in the combined business, including 20th Century Fox Distribution, Fox International Channels Group and theatrical distributor Buena Vista International.
The news was first reported by US outlet Variety.