Endeavor is seeking to sell an 80% ownership stake in the film/TV production studio Endeavor Content to comply with the deal the agency signed with the Writers Guild of America in February, according to an individual with knowledge of the agency.
The studio leadership on Tuesday informed staffers and laid out their plan as most of Endeavor Content’s film sales executives will transition back to the WME agency over the course of the next several months.
On February 5, WME became the final Hollywood agency to sign the WGA Franchise Agreement, requiring agencies to phase out packaging fees by the end of June 2022. In addition, CAA and WME are required to reduce their ownership stake in any production studios to no more than 20%, a condition the Writers Guild required to avoid conflicts of interests between talent agents and production units in which the agency’s parent company has a financial interest.
Last week, CAA completed the sale of a majority stake in its own affiliate production outlet, Wiip, to the Korean studio JTBC to comply with the WGA franchise agreement,
Endeavor, which became a publicly traded company in April, is the combination of sports, events, fashion and talent-management IMG and the agency WME. In its first earnings report last week, the company reported $2.4 million in net income for the quarter, besting the $51.4 million the company lost in the same period in 2020.
WME purchased IMG in 2014 for $2.3 billion. WME itself was the combination of the legendary William Morris Agency and Endeavor. The new Endeavor purchased the UFC in 2016. It also owns Miss Universe and the Professional Bull Riders tour. In 2017, Endeavor launched Endeavor Content, which it says has financed and/or sold more than 100 films and TV shows in the time that has followed.
Deadline first reported the news.