Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management have finalized the merger of the Fox-owned Shine Group with Apollo-controlled Endemol and Core Media Group, in a deal that will see Apollo and Fox each receiving a 50% share of the new company.
A deal has been in the works since May when it was first revealed that the two companies were in talks to proceed with the joint venture. Subsequent months have seen the appointment of former BSkyB MD of content Sophie Turner Laing as CEO of the resulting entity, as well as the departure of Core Media Group president and CEO Marc Graboff and the forthcoming exit of Shine founder and chairman Elisabeth Murdoch once the deal closes.
Following the transaction’s closing – with regulatory approval – the companies have stated that Alex Mahon, CEO of Shine Group, and Just Spee, current chief executive at Endemol, will continue in their positions for an “extended period of time” in order to help Turner Laing with the transition.
Following the transitory period, however, both execs will step down in 2015 to pursue other opportunities.
“This partnership advances our strategy of accelerating 21st Century Fox’s growth in worldwide television production,” said Chase Carey, 21st Century Fox president and COO in a statement. “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.
The exec continued: “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.”
The financial terms of the agreement have not been released, and the deal is subject to regulatory clearances. Until the transaction closes, Endemol, Shine and Core will operate as separate companies, though once the deal is complete, Core will keep its own capital structure.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.
“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,” said Aaron Stone, senior partner at Apollo, in a statement.
“The group will have impressive capabilities to offer the creative community and to invest in all aspects of media’s future,” he added. “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.”
Turner Laing added: “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.”