21st Century Fox, Apollo Finalize Deal Combining Endemol, Shine Group and Core Media

Apollo Global Management and 21st Century Fox will each own 50 percent of new multiplatform content provider

Sophie Turner Laing

21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management LLC have finalized an agreement that bands together Endemol, Shine Group and Core Media, creating a single global multiplatform content provider.

The group will have creative operations in over 30 markets, with more than 600 formats — both scripted and non-scripted — as well as digital, gaming, and distribution operations, 21st Century Fox said in a Friday press release.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, other than to say that 21st Century Fox and Apollo will each own 50 percent of the newly combined company. As previously announced, Sophie Turner Laing (pictured: above), former managing director of Content at BSkyB, will serve as the group’s CEO.

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Current Endemol and Shine Group CEOs, Just Spee and Alex Mahon, respectively, will remain with their respective companies for “an extended period” — until 2015 — following the deal’s close. However, Elisabeth Murdoch will be out as non-executive chairman of Shine Group when the transaction closes.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory clearances and additional closing conditions. Prior to completion of the transaction, Endemol, Shine and Core will continue to operate as separate companies. Upon completion, Core will retain its own capital structure.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. AGM Partners is serving as financial advisor to 21st Century Fox.

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“This partnership advances our strategy of accelerating 21st Century Fox’s growth in worldwide television production,” Chase Carey, 21st Century Fox president and COO, said in the media release. “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.”

“It is a particularly opportune time to bring together three extraordinary companies, establishing one of the most innovative and diverse content creators in the world,” added Aaron Stone, senior partner at Apollo. “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. We are thrilled to collaborate with them and with 21st Century Fox and we are especially thankful to Just Spee for his extraordinary leadership of Endemol on its journey to success.”

“I am delighted to join the extraordinary collection of talent at Endemol, Shine and Core,” said Turner Laing. “Content has never been more creatively vibrant and exciting and our exceptional production and distribution capabilities will be a magnet for talent to realize their creative ambitions across all platforms on a regional and global scale.”