The TV company behind 'Black Mirror,' part-owned by Fox, has hired banks for a sale that could fetch up to $4 billion

Key Points
  • Endemol Shine has hired Deutsche Bank and Liontree to seek a sale.
  • Fox previously passed up the chance to acquire all of Endemol and instead agreed to sell its stake to Disney in December.
  • If Endemol is sold, either Disney or Comcast would likely end up with the sale proceeds.
The cast and crew of "Black Mirror" accept an award onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Endemol Shine Group, the Netherlands-based TV producer of shows including "Black Mirror" and "MasterChef" has hired Deutsche Bank and Liontree to seek a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

Endemol is co-owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management, each of which owns 50 percent of the company. Finding a buyer for the entire entity could simplify ownership and marry Endemol's content portfolio, which also includes "Big Brother" and "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown," with a larger library.

Both Fox and Apollo have agreed to sell their takes if a buyer is found. Fox has already passed up the right to buy all of Endemol, and in fact agreed to sell its 50 percent stake to Disney in December as part of its $52 billion (at the time) sale. Fox is supportive of the business but chose not to acquire it given its deal with Disney, one of the people said.

A sale could value Endemol between $2.5 billion and $4 billion, including debt, two of the people said. Deadline reported in April that U.K. media company ITV would consider buying Endemol should a formal process start, which has now happened, said the people.

If a sale is completed, Disney or Comcast -- whichever company ends up buying the Fox assets -- would likely be awarded the cash from the sale, the people said.

Elizabeth Murdoch, daughter of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, founded Shine and sold it to News Corp in 2011. In 2014, Endemol agreed to merge with Shine Group and Core Media Group with Apollo taking half of the combined company.

Spokespeople for Fox, Liontree, Apollo and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. A spokesperson for Endemol couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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