All3Media is taking another look at acquiring Endemol Shine Group but the chances of the production and distribution giant being broken up to ease the protracted sales process have decreased, TBI has learned.
The Liberty Global and Discovery-backed UK-based outfit was among around 12 companies around the world to have looked at buying the production and distribution giant last year, when it was first put up for sale.
Despite a flurry of initial interest, companies including ITV, RTL-owned Fremantle, Lionsgate and Endeavour Content all ultimately backed away.
However All3, overseen by CEO Jane Turton, is now understood to be looking at the company again, with a view to adding to its existing roster of production outfits that include Undercover Boss prodco Studio Lambert, Wolf Hall producer Company Pictures and Neal Street Productions, which is behind Call the Midwife.
The approach comes after Banijay returned to the table to explore a potential deal for the company in March, as revealed by TBI, although that too ultimately petered out.
It is believed that the price for the Sophie Turner Laing-run business has dropped in recent months, helping to reinvigorate interest. Initial estimates priced the company at around $3.5 billion, although that is believed to have come down to around $2.5 to $3 billion more recently.
The ongoing sales process has been complicated by Disney’s $71 billion deal for a raft of entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox, which saw it pick up a 50% stake in Endemol Shine. Apollo Global Management holds the other 50% of the group.
Both stakeholders remain keen to sell, with the Peaky Blinders (pictured) and Black Mirror producer implementing ongoing efficiencies for some time to reduce overheads and bolster its revenue streams. However debt, estimated at around $1.9bn, remains a major obstacle for potential acquisitors of the company.
Reports last year suggested the company could be broken up to facilitate a sale with Banijay, but TBI understands this is unlikely should All3 move forward with its interest.
Endemol Shine produces in excess of 800 shows in almost 80 territories, and owns rights to veteran formats – from culinary show Masterchef to Big Brother – as well as newer offerings such as fact ent series Hunted.
It is also behind entertainment shows such as All Together Now and Big Bounce Battle, with the company’s production outfits around the world often creating local versions of its own formats for broadcasters. Splitting up the company would raise complex questions and potentially impact this model.
On the scripted front, Endemol Shine also houses companies including: Black Mirror prodco House of Tomorrow; Wiedemann & Berg Television, the German firm behind Netflix’s Dark; Broadchurch prodco Kudos; and Tiger Aspect, which produces Peaky Blinders with Caryn Mandabach Productions.
Endemol Shine, Apollo, Disney and All3 all declined to comment.