Leading Entertainment Company CJ ENM Acquires Majority Stake in Global Premium Content Studio Endeavor Content for US $ 775 Million
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD– CJ ENM, a leading entertainment company from Korea, has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire an 80% stake in the scripted businesses of the US-based global premium content studio Endeavor Content, from its parent company Endeavor Group Holdings (“Endeavor”) (NYSE: EDR) for total proceeds of $ 775 million at a business valuation of $ 850 million, of which $ 655 million to Endeavor and a contribution of 120 million USD of capital on Endeavor Content’s balance sheet (implying a post-currency equity valuation of US $ 970 million).
The agreement to acquire 80% of the capital, including management rights, was approved by the board of directors of CJ ENM on November 19, 2021 (KST). Endeavor will retain 20% of the scripted portion of the business, in addition to retaining the unscripted portion of the business, as well as some advisory services for documentary and film sales and financing. Graham Taylor and Chris Rice of Endeavor Content will continue to lead the studio as co-CEOs. The two companies expect the deal to be concluded early in the first quarter of 2022.
This acquisition is the largest merger-acquisition for CJ ENM, which first invested in DreamWorks and entered the content business 26 years ago. Through the acquisition of Endeavor Content, CJ ENM plans to consolidate its presence in the global market and content distribution channels. CJ ENM will also be able to expand its original IP address collection to incorporate that of Endeavor Content. The library and wallet which will contain a wide range of IP addresses from around the world will support CJ ENM’s plan to launch its OTT platform, TVING, on a global scale. CJ ENM will also be able to further accelerate its penetration into the global content market by making full use of Endeavor Content’s extensive network across various distribution channels. This will create a complete value chain for CJ ENM to distribute its premier dramas, films and entertainment programs around the world. New doors will open for the creative pool, including producers, writers, and more, who can collaborate on multiple levels to create globally successful content.
“Four years ago, we set out to create a talent-driven studio that prioritized greater creative freedom and greater ownership, ”said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor. “Graham Taylor, Chris Rice and the entire Endeavor Content team have kept that promise, and this transaction further underscores the enduring value of talent and premium content. Continue Emanuel, “Having known Miky Lee for over 25 years, I have no doubts that CJ ENM will be excellent stewards of the studio, accelerating and amplifying his projects on the world stage.
“We are delighted to announce this agreement with Endeavor Content, a company that is growing at remarkable speed in the US and European markets, ”said Kang Ho-Sung, CEO of CJ ENM. “We are convinced that this agreement will create a synergy between the two companies, recognized worldwide for their production capacities and their list of successful IP properties. Kang continued, “Ultimately, CJ ENM strives to become a major global studio that encompasses content that attracts global audiences – like this agreement with Endeavor Content, we will continue to expand our presence in the global market. ”
Leading entertainment company CJ ENM is best known for its recent Oscar-winning recent “Parasite”. CJ ENM’s credits also include the TV series “Crash Landing on You”, “Goblin: The Lonely and Great God”, “Hospital Playlist” and films “Snowpiercer”, “Miss Granny” and the Tony Award-winning Broadway production. , “Kinky Boots”. Based in Seoul, Korea, its entertainment division engages in a wide range of businesses across the industry spectrum, including multimedia, music, film, performing arts and entertainment. animation. CJ ENM’s critically acclaimed content has been enjoyed by global audiences across various media platforms and remake versions.
This agreement is another addition to CJ ENM’s growing presence in the global market. CJ ENM is currently co-producing a drama series with US media company Skydance Media as part of its strategic partnership concluded early last year. CJ ENM is also involved in the production of a TV adaptation of the award-winning film “Parasite” which will air on HBO. Additionally, CJ ENM is the company behind “I Can See Your Voice,” a popular entertainment show that has aired and / or remade in over 23 regions, as well as the 2021 Emmy-nominated drama “It’s Okay to Not Be. Okay ”and“ I-Land ”musical reality show.
“We are excited about this next chapter as we seek to unlock even more value for talent and our producer partners, ”said Graham Taylor and Chris Rice, co-CEOs of Endeavor Content, in a joint statement. “With the addition of CJ ENM, our mission to empower creators and foster an inclusive environment that promotes diverse content globally only grows stronger. ”
Endeavor Content was launched in 2017 as a platform-independent production, consulting, sales and distribution studio and talent agencies, which prioritizes artists, creators and producers. Endeavor Content’s mission then expanded to become a more inclusive studio that advocates and supports content and creators that engage diverse audiences. Since its inception, Endeavor Content has owned, funded and / or sold over 125 movies and TV series that have garnered over 69 Emmy Awards and nominations and 59 Oscar wins and nominations. Major hits include “In the Heights” and “Just Mercy” for Warner Brothers, “Book Club” for Paramount Pictures, “Blue Miracle” for Netflix and “Joe Bell” with Roadside Attractions. The studio has also made its mark internationally, handling the global distribution of hit series such as “Killing Eve”, “The Night Manager”, “Normal People” and “Nine Perfect Strangers”. Upcoming film projects include “The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal’s critically acclaimed feature debut for Netflix, and Michael Bay’s highly anticipated “Ambulance” for theaters. On the television side, the studio will present several new series of top talent during the first half of the year. These include “Severance” by Ben Stiller, “Roar” by Nicole Kidman for Apple TV +, “Wolf Like Me” for Peacock, starring Josh Gad and Isla Fisher, “Tokyo Vice” by Michael Mann for HBO Max and “Life & Beth “from Amy Schumer for Hulu.
JP Morgan acted as CJ ENM’s exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. O’Melveny & Myers acted as legal counsel to CJ ENM.
The Raine Group acted as Endeavor’s exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal counsel to Endeavor.
About CJ ENM
CJ ENM is a leading entertainment company from Korea. Since 1995, the company has engaged in a wide range of activities across the industry, including multimedia, music, film, performing arts and animation, providing its original premium content. order to various media platforms. CJ ENM has created, produced and distributed world-class content, including a Cannes award-winning film Parasite, Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots, Korean box office records Roaring currents, Extreme work, Ode to my father, as well as popular TV series such as Mr. Sunshine, Guardian: The lonely and great god, the grandfathers on the flowers, I can see your voice and more. To deliver the best K-Culture experiences in the world, CJ ENM presents KCON, the world’s largest K-culture convention and festival celebrating Hallyu and Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), the biggest music awards in Asia. With regional offices in Asia, Europe and the United States, CJ ENM currently employs over 3,600 people. For more information, please visit: http://www.cjenm.com
Endeavor is a global sports and entertainment company, home to many of the world’s most dynamic and engaging storytellers, brands, live events and experiences. The company is made up of industry leaders, including entertainment agency WME; the sports, fashion, events and media company IMG; and the premier UFC mixed martial arts organization. The Endeavor Network specializes in talent representation, sports operations and consulting, event and experience management, media production and distribution, experiential marketing and brand licensing.