Endemol Shine Sale Called Off

Courtesy of Netflix
'Black Mirror'

The development ends months of speculation swirling around the production house behind 'Big Brother' and 'Black Mirror.'

Endemol Shine Group owners 21st Century Fox and private equity firm Apollo Global Management have called off the sale of the producer behind Big Brother, MasterChef, Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders, sources confirmed Tuesday.

The lack of a sale means that Walt Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox's 50 percent stake in the production giant as part of its $71.3 billion takeover of large parts of the company, which is expected to be completed during the first half of 2019. The development ends months of speculation that had surrounded Endemol Shine since the company was put on the auction block earlier this year.

French production powerhouse Banijay Group had been in advanced talks to buy the company, but the owners are understood to have decided to instead focus on fueling the continued growth of Endemol Shine. Some analysts had wondered whether the sales process would lead to an offer with a price tag that Fox and Apollo would see as high enough.

The owners of Endemol Shine have long touted the production firm's strong cash flows and financial growth. They have in recent years invested to grow the firm's scripted production business, among other things.

Banijay, Lionsgate, Sony, Liberty Global/Discovery Communications' All3Media and talent agency Endeavor were among the companies that circled the group.

ITV was initially thought to be in contention, but, after weeks of intense press speculation, the U.K. TV giant said in October it had no intention of submitting a bid. RTL Group's FremantleMedia backed out of negotiations in September during the initial financial discovery stage.

Endemol Shine was crated 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 Fox declined to comment, while Apollo couldn't immediately be reached.