Exclusive: Endemol Shine’s sales rejig revealed, new Asia ‘MasterChef’ deal

LR: Simon Cox, Mark Lawrence, Matt Creasey

Endemol Shine Group’s global sales division has rejigged the remits of its senior management team following the departure of long-serving CEO Cathy Payne.

Endemol Shine International chief Payne confirmed plans to step down late last year, as revealed by TBI, with her remit now taken up by three existing senior execs.

TBI understands ESI’s LA-based EVP of sales & acquisitions Matt Creasey, UK-based executive director for EMEA Mark Lawrence and head of acquisitions Simon Cox are now covering Payne’s responsibilities, reporting directly into Wim Ponnet, Endemol Shine’s chief strategy and commercial officer.

The expanded responsibilities for the trio come as Endemol Shine’s acquisition by Banijay Group proceeds through anti-trust, a process expected to take around eight months.

The French production and distribution giant struck a $2.2bn deal in October with ESG owners Apollo Global Management and Disney, having fought off competition from Discovery and Liberty Global-backed All3Media.

Black Mirror

Once the deal is closed, the combined group will be owned by Banijay chairman Stéphane Courbit’s investment vehicle LDH (67.1%) and Vivendi (32.9%).

It will create the world’s largest production group outside of the US studios and see Banijay Group own almost 200 production companies in 23 territories and the rights for close to 100,000 hours of content ranging from Humans and Black Mirror to Hunted and Big Brother.

It remains to be seen how ESI will be combined with Banijay’s extensive distribution outfit but lay-offs are likely as the two teams merge. Industry veteran Tim Mutimer heads up the French company’s global sales operation as head of distribution for Banijay Group and also serves as CEO for Banijay Rights.

Payne’s next move, meanwhile, is not yet known. It had been suggested the former chief exec of Endemol Worldwide Distribution and Southern Star International could remain with ESI during the transition but TBI understands that has not occurred, with the respected distribution veteran departing as planned early this year.

In related news, Endemol Shine’s cookery format MasterChef has expanded its reach in Asia, with PSM in the Maldives ordering a local version.

MasterChef Australia

The 20-episode primetime run will launch later this year, with the Maldives becoming the 63rd country to produce a local version of the global culinary hit.

2019 was the most successful year to date for MasterChef with 53 confirmed productions across 35 markets. The format made a comeback in India on Star and celebrated its 10th anniversary and 200th episode in the US, as well as airing in major markets including the UK, Brazil, Australia, Italy and Spain.

The deal was struck by ESI’s executive director for Asia Rashmi Bajpai and her team. TBI understands further deals are in the works for MasterChef across Asia, with the US and Australian finished tape also selling across the region.

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