Banijay Nearing Deal for 'Black Mirror' Producer Endemol Shine

Black Mirror Bandersnatch-Fionn Whitehead -Publicity Still-H 2019
Stuart Hendry/Netflix

The French TV giant would take over the 'Peaky Blinders' and 'Big Brother' producer, which is currently owned by Walt Disney and Apollo Global Management.

Endemol Shine Group, the producer of hit shows such as Big BrotherMasterChefBlack Mirror and Peaky Blinders, is nearing a deal to be acquired by French production powerhouse Banijay Group, a source confirmed.

The combination would create a new production giant with production shingles in Europe and the U.S., as well as a large programming catalog. 

Endemol Shine has been owned by Walt Disney, which acquired 21st Century Fox's 50 percent stake in the firm as part of its $71.3 billion takeover of large parts of the company, and private equity group Apollo Global Management.

Late last year, Fox and Apollo called off a sales process for Endemol Shine. Banijay back then was understood to have been in advanced talks to buy the company, but the owners were said not to be happy with the price tag and decided to instead focus on fueling the continued growth of Endemol Shine.

Lionsgate, Sony, Liberty Global/Discovery Communications' All3Media and talent agency Endeavor are among the companies that were understood to have circled the group. U.K. TV giant ITV was initially also thought to be in contention, but after weeks of intense press speculation, the company said it had no intention of submitting a bid. RTL Group's FremantleMedia also backed out of negotiations during the initial financial discovery stage.

The owners of Endemol Shine, led by CEO Sophie Turner Laing, have long touted the firm's strong cash flow and financial growth. They have in recent years invested to grow its scripted production business, among other things.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that a deal worth around $2.2 billion could be sealed as early as this week.

Endemol Shine was created via a merger between two global reality juggernauts, Dutch group Endemol (Big Brother) and Elisabeth Murdoch's British group Shine (The Biggest Loser). The two came together in 2014 through the merger of Apollo's Endemol and Fox's Shine Group. 

Endemol Shine and Banijay declined to comment. Apollo could not immediately be reached.