Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (ASX: FOX) and private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) are set to merge three subsidiaries to form what is expected to be the largest independent TV production company.
Financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
The three-way venture will see a combination of Fox's Shine Group with Apollo's Endemol and Core Media Group—the company that once owned the intellectual property rights of entertainer Elvis Presley and boxing champion Muhammad Ali, before they were sold to Authentic Brands Group LLC. (For more on Core Media, see Law Firm of the Year: Latham & Watkins)
The new entity will be led by Sophie Turner Laing as CEO. Turner is a former content executive for British Sky Broadcasting Group plc
(LON: BSY), the entertainment company in which Fox owns a 39 percent stake. Fox and Apollo will jointly manage the newly created group, with each owning 50 percent.
Endemol, which Apollo acquired in 2012 by buying up a chunk of the company's debt from Barclays plc, has been run by CEO Just Spee. Shine's current CEO is Alex Mahon, with Murdoch daughter Elisabeth Murdoch serving as non-executive chair.
After the deal closes, Elisabeth Murdoch will step down from Shine, while Spee and Mahon remain on board during a transition period until 2015.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
Apollo has roughly $125 billion in managed assets.
The deal was announced amid an uptick in consolidation in the TV production space. In July, Liberty Global plc acquired 6.4 percent of London- based ITV from Murdoch’s BSkyB for $824 million. Before that, the company bought TV producer All3Media in a partnership with Discovery Communications Inc. for almost $1 billion.