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.
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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