Ari Emanuel speaks onstage during the 2017 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Mark Bradford and George Lucas presented by Gucci at LACMA on November 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Stefanie Keenan | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Endeavor Content, the studio behind TV series including “Killing Eve” and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” is soliciting second-round bids valuing the company more than $750 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
Three financial firms and two strategic companies are expected to bid 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 own 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 Endeavor’s Nov. 15 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 on submitting an offer, one of the people said. While some reports speculated 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.
WATCH: Endeavor CEO on earnings beat: We’re feeling bullish right now