EXCLUSIVE: Endeavor Content is gearing up to go to market later this summer to raise capital and take WME parent Endeavor’s ownership stake in the affiliated studio down to 20% to comply with the conditions of WME’s February deal with the WGA.
We hear the studio leadership laid out their plans at an internal meeting today, during which it was also revealed that the film sales team that has existed under the EC roof will go back to WME under the moniker WME Independent.
The move, with EC as financier/producer and WME handling film sales, aligns WME with the model used by other agencies.
The meeting about EC’s intentions comes a week after CAA sold a majority stake in Wiip to Korean company JTBC Studios. It was the first divestiture of an agency-backed studio after the major agencies agreed to sell 80%+ interest in their affiliated production companies in order to secure new agreements with the WGA that also phases out packaging fees by 2022.
Endeavor Content is the oldest, biggest and most established of the agency-affiliated studios, especially in the TV space. Led by Co-Presidents Graham Taylor and Chris Rice, Endeavor Content consists of several major divisions, including film and television production and distribution. Its portfolio includes movies and TV series like Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, See, The Revenant, The Night Manager, Call Me By Your Name and Killing Eve as well as the upcoming Reminiscence and Blue Miracle.
Endeavor Content is now part of a publicly traded company, Endeavor Group Holdings, which reported its first quarterly financial results last week since going public in April. (The parent company swung from a year-ago loss to $2.4 million in net income in the first quarter; the total revenue slid 10% in the first quarter to $1.07 billion.)
Endeavor Group Holdings does not account for Endeavor Content as a separate entity, but it said total content costs climbed to $552.5 million in the quarter, from $376.2 million in the previous quarter. In addition to WME and Endeavor Content, the Endeavor umbrella includes sports, fashion, events and media company IMG; and mixed martial arts circuit UFC.
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