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Banijay Gets European Antitrust Clearance For Endemol Shine Takeover – Variety

Banijay’s $2.2 billion deal for Endemol Shine has obtained clearance from the European Fee’s antitrust regulators. It’s one of many indie content material world’s first main M&A offers to be accomplished in Europe for the reason that begin of the coronavirus disaster.

The antitrust ruling from the EC, which was issued on June 30, was the most important and last hurdle to beat for Banijay in an effort to full its takeover of Endemol Shine from Disney and Apollo International Administration.

In its determination, the EC mentioned it approved the acquisition, which supplies Lov Group unique management over the mixed Banijay and Endemol Shine.

“The Fee concluded that the [sought-after] acquisition didn’t elevate any antitrust downside contemplating the presence of a ample variety of different firms which have content material portfolios which can be related within the involved nations,” mentioned the EC.

The deal, which beforehand obtained clearance from antitrust authorities within the U.S., offers start to a merged entity that would be the largest non-U.S. manufacturing participant. The mixed group boasts content material companies all through Europe and a presence in Asia Pacific, Australasia, and the U.S. As well as, their mixed catalogue eclipses that of both BBC Studios or ITV Studios by way of dimension, with greater than 88,000 hours.

Banijay was based by Stephane Courbit and his LOV Group, along with an offshoot of Italian conglomerate De Agostini. Collectively, Banijay and Endemol Shine have pursuits in additional than 100 manufacturing firms, together with Kudos, Filmlance (“Caliphate,” pictured), Rubicon (“Beforeigners”) and Diagonal (“Cathedral of the Sea”) on the Endemol Shine facet. Flagship Banijay titles embrace “Versailles,” “The Inbetweeners” and “Survivor,” whereas Endemol Shine has “Huge Brother,” “MasterChef,” “Black Mirror” and “Peaky Blinders.”

The high-profile acquisition was introduced in October, following greater than a yr of on-and-off courtship that concerned different reported bidders, comparable to ITV, Fremantle, Endeavor Content material and Sony. Through the previous few months, each firms continued to work as rival banners. Nevertheless, a couple of govt shuffles have been made, with Banijay appointing Cathy Payne, former CEO of Endemol Shine Worldwide, as CEO of Banijay Rights to spearhead the division by means of its subsequent chapter.

Based on a number of sources, the takeover was a troublesome operation to start with, and have become much more difficult amid the present financial context. Endemol Shine’s debt load was $1.83 billion in February and the pandemic seemingly aggravated the state of affairs because of the truth that manufacturing stopped for a number of months.

Banijay’s buy of Endemol Shine additionally entails an intensive duplication of belongings. A supply conversant in the deal mentioned “Banijay is planning to avoid wasting €60 million ($67 million) in synergies by means of employees cuts and optimization of acquisitions.”

The mixed group shall be held by LDH (67.1%), which contains Financière LOV, De Agostini and Fimalac, the funding firm of Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, and French media big Vivendi (32.9%).

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