Haeundae-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea,
CJ ENM Buys Majority Stake in Hollywood Player Endeavor Content
Korean Studio’s International Portfolio Continues to Expand
CJ ENM, Korea’s top content studio, has acquired a majority stake in the LA-based Endeavor Content in a USD 775 million deal, the biggest M&A deal in the company’s history. The deal amounts to a controlling 80% stake in the scripted content business unit of leading Hollywood talent agency Endeavor.
Endeavor will receive USD 655 million from the sale, while the remaining USD 120 million will be used to fuel the development of Endeavor Content productions. The enterprise value of the deal is estimated at USD 850 million, with the additional cash influx raising the company’s value to USD 970 million. Endeavor will retain 20% of the scripted portion of the business, as well as keep control of their non-scripted business in addition to certain documentary and film sales and financing consulting services.
Endeavor Content was formed in 2017 by Endeavor to consolidate its financing and packaging activities in film and TV content. The company has been a co-producer on notable titles such as Once Upon Time… in Hollywood, The Night Manager and Killing Eve. Following a dispute with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) over unfair business practices, Endeavor and other Hollywood agencies agreed to divest their production divisions earlier this year.
The Endeavor sale follows a similar deal a few months ago when CAA sold its production unit Wiip to JTBC Studios, another Korean entertainment company.
CJ ENM, the studio behind the Academy Award-winning Parasite (2019), comprises several content divisions, including the CJ Entertainment film studio, the leading drama production company Studio Dragon, local cable channels tvN and OCN, and the growing streaming service TVING. Earlier this year, CJ ENM pledged to invest KRW 5 trillion (USD 4.5 billion) into content over the next five years.
The Endeavor deal is by no means the first time that CJ has shown an interest in Hollywood, as the CJ Group was one of the original investors in Dreamworks in the early 1990s when it invested USD 300 million in the fledgling studio. Last year, CJ was involved in a USD 275 million strategic investment in Skydance Media, the company behind the recent Mission: Impossible films, World War Z, and TV series such as Apple TV+’s Foundation and Netflix’s Altered Carbon.