Fox, Apollo Complete Deal To Create Media Production Powerhouse

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX) and Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO) announced on Friday, October 10th that have completed a merger combining Fox’s Shine Group with Apollo’s Endemol and Core Media Group to create a new media production powerhouse. The deal was initially announced back on May 15th.

Fox and Apollo three-way venture

The deal is a three-way venture, and will create largest independent TV production company in the world. The new firm will be headed up by former BSkyB content executive Sophie Turner Laing. Laing formerly worked for BSkyB as managing director of content.

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Endemol is led by CEO Just Spee, while Alex Mahon is Shine’s CEO, and Elisabeth Murdoch is serving as chairman of the BoD. All of the execs will stay on during a transition period, but move on when the new firm is up and running.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX) first announced back on May 15 of this year that it had a preliminary agreement to create a new joint venture combining Shine, a U.K. producer of hit shows, with Big Brother producer Endemol and American Idol creator Core Media. Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO), a private equity firm with $125 billion in managed assets, owns both Endemol and Core Media. Fox and Apollo noted at the time that “there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be completed,” but Fox COO Chase Careydropped a hint when he said last week he hoped the three-way deal could be wrapped up soon.

Earlier statements

“It will create a big TV production powerhouse with scale and a true international focus, as opposed to the international operations being an outpost of a U.S.-based media giant,” an insider previously told The Hollywood Reporter about the rationale behind the deal.

Mahon at a recent conference said that consolidation in the TV production space made sense amid a trend toward more deficit-launched shows. With a big company like Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX) as its owner, Shine “can take the deficit,” she said. “We wouldn’t have had that chance before.”