Banijay Group’s US$2.2 billion acquisition of Endemol Shine Group has been approved by the European Commission (EC) after gaining antitrust clearance.
The EC concluded that the takeover “would not raise competition concerns given the presence of a sufficient number of alternative players with portfolios of similar content in the countries concerned.”
With this final hurdle out of the way, Banijay chairman Stéphane Courbit’s LOV Group is now able to combine Banijay and Endemol into the world’s largest production group outside of the US. The acquisition has already received antitrust clearance in the US.
LOV Group will become the sole owner of the combined business, with French conglomerate Vivendi, Italian group De Agostini and French finance group Fimalac the other main shareholders.
Banijay Group will own almost 200 production companies in 23 territories and the rights for close to 100,000 hours of content, with credits including Versailles, Wife Swap, Big Brother, MasterChef, Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders.
The French production and distribution giant struck a “definitive agreement” in October to acquire the company from ESG owners Apollo Global Management and Disney, having fought off competition from Discovery and Liberty Global-backed All3Media for the outfit.
Endemol Shine is behind 120 production labels with an estimated 66,000 hours of scripted and non-scripted programming together with over 4,300 registered formats. Its output includes dramas such as Humans and Black Mirror, formats including Big Brother, Hunted and MasterChef, as well as factual entertainment series including Ambulance and One Born Every Minute.
It also houses production companies including Kudos, Artists Studio and Tiger Aspect in the UK, Authentic Entertainment and Endemol Shine Boomdog in the Americas, Filmlance and Meter in the Nordics, and Diagonal TV in Spain.
Banijay, meanwhile, is behind companies including Adventure Line Productions, Brainpool and RDF Television in France, Germany and the UK respectively, as well as Finland’s Pineapple Entertainment and Mastiff Norway in the Nordics.
It also houses Bunim Murray Productions in the US and, like Endemol Shine, operates a huge distribution network via Banijay Rights