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Endeavor Content, studio behind ‘Killing Eve,’ solicits bids for more than $750 million

Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh attend the premiere of BBC America and AMC’s ‘Killing Eve’ at ArcLight Hollywood on April 01, 2019 in Hollywood, California.

Emma McIntyre | Getty Images

Endeavor Content, the studio behind TV series including “Killing Eve” and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” is soliciting second-round bids valuing the company at more than $750 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Three financial firms, including Apollo Global Management, and two strategic companies are considering bids on the division, a carve-out from the now publicly traded Endeavor Group Holdings, which had its initial public offering in April, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. None of the expected bidders owns a streaming service, one of the people said.

Endeavor, run by super-agent Ari Emanuel, is selling 80% of its studio division as part of an agreement with the Writers Guild of America that forced agencies to sell majority stakes in their content divisions. Earlier this year, CAA sold a majority stake in Wiip, the producer of HBO’s “Mare of Easttown,” to Korean company JTBC Studios.

Second-round bids for Endeavor Content are due Oct. 29, the people said. A winner could be chosen by Nov. 15, when Endeavor reports its third-quarter earnings, depending on the speed of final diligence, one of the people said. The final price may creep past $800 million, two of the people said.

An Endeavor spokesperson declined to comment.

There’s appetite for content among media companies, SPACs, private equity firms and hedge funds, which can make money licensing shows and movies to streaming services. Private equity investment in the media and telecom sector reached record highs during the first half of 2021, according to PwC research, at around $54.8 billion of deal value.

Lionsgate had considered bidding for the division, though it doesn’t plan to submit an offer, one of the people said. While some reports speculated that former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ new Blackstone Capital-backed venture may be a logical buyer, the entity isn’t planning a bid, two of the people said. That newly formed company acquired Reese Witherspoon’s “Hello Sunshine” for $900 million earlier this year.

Under a settlement reached with the WGA earlier this year, large agencies agreed to sell majority stakes in studios after allegations of self-dealing, given their close relationships through representation of actors, directors and other crew members.

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