Banijay Group in Talks to Buy Endemol Shine

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Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti

Banijay, led by CEO Marco Bassetti, was founded 10 years ago and is one of the largest independent TV producers.

French TV giant Banijay Group is in talks to acquire production powerhouse Endemol Shine, the producer of such shows as Big Brother, MasterChef, Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.

Some suggested that the company is currently the lead bidder, but the auction process isn't finished yet.

Banijay, led by CEO Marco Bassetti, was founded 10 years ago and is one of the largest independent TV producers. The company is owned by LOV Group and DeA Communications, with Vivendi also owning a stake. 

U.K. TV giant ITV on Wednesday said that it wasn't planning to submit a takeover offer for Endemol. Other big-name companies originally mentioned as possible suitors have included RTL Group’s FremantleMedia and Liberty Global/Discovery Communications’ All3Media, but one source told THR  that they haven't shown real interest in pursuing a deal.

The Financial Times reported that talent agency Endeavor is also still in the running though, with sources also mentioning Lionsgate as having been among the suitors.

Endemol Shine was formed four years ago when Fox struck a deal with private equity firm Apollo Global Management to merge Dutch group Endemol (Big Brother) and Shine, the Elisabeth Murdoch-founded British producer behind The Biggest Loser, with American Idol parent Core Media.

Endemol Shine and Banijay representatives declined to comment.

Scott Roxborough and Rhonda Richford contributed to this report.