Television

21st Century Fox, Apollo combine Shine, Endemol and Core Media to create content powerhouse

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BENGALURU: Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (Apollo) announced an awaited agreement to create a leading global multi-platform content provider. The agreement brings together Apollo’s Endemol and Core Media with 21st Century Fox Shine Group and to form one of the largest content creators in the world. Sophie Turner Laing, former managing director of content at BSkyB, will serve as the group’s CEO.



Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions. Industry sources say that this is a 50:50 partnership between 21st Century Fox and Apollo.



In 2011, Apollo bought Core Media, which owns the Idol franchise. Also, in 2011, Murdoch’s News Corp (now 21st Century Fox) paid $ 673 million for Shine Group, a UK producer of Biggest Loser. Elizabeth Murdoch then owned 80 per cent of the Shine Group.

 

Prior to completion of the transaction, Endemol, Shine and Core will continue to operate as separate companies. Upon completion of the transaction, Core will retain its own capital structure. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. AGM Partners is serving as financial advisor to 21st Century Fox.

 

Current Endemol CEO Just Spee and Shine Group CEO Alex Mahon will remain with their respective companies for an extended period following the close of the transaction, working with Turner Laing on the transition and integration of business operations. Following the transition period, both will step down in 2015 to pursue new opportunities. Upon the transaction’s close Elisabeth Murdoch will step down as non-executive chairman of Shine Group.



 

“This partnership advances our strategy of accelerating Fox’s growth in worldwide television production,” said 21st Century Fox president and CEO Chase Carey. “The combination of these assets will create a leading global format business with a deep and diverse portfolio of products, enhanced distribution capabilities, and world-class creative talent. We are extremely grateful to Alex Mahon for her leadership of Shine and are delighted to partner with Apollo in supporting Sophie Turner Laing, and the talent at Shine, Endemol and Core, in our shared mission to form an unrivalled team to lead this truly global content creation business.”

 

Turner Laing said, “Content has never been more creatively vibrant and exciting and our exceptional production and distribution capabilities will be a magnet for talent to realise their creative ambitions across all platforms on a regional and global scale."

 

Apollo senior partner Aaron Stone said, “The group will have impressive capabilities to offer the creative community and to invest in all aspects of media’s future.  At the heart of this partnership are the businesses’ thousands of employees around the world.”

 

The combined company will have disparate shows like the MasterChef which has more than 50 editions around the world, Big Brother, Hell on Wheels, Idol and So You Think You Can Dance properties.

Turner Laing has spent the last decade at BSkyB, where she oversaw content strategy and was instrumental in the expansion of its portfolio of entertainment channels, including the Company’s partnership with HBO says 21st Century Fox.

 

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