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'Survivor' producer Banijay Group to go public via SPAC merger

May 11, 2022
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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Banijay, the reality TV producer behind hits like "Survivor" and "MasterChef," is going public via a merger with SPAC investment vehicle Pegasus Entrepreneurs.

Why it matters: The SPAC market has gone from flame to fizzle, particularly for media companies. But this is the largest deal by a European-listed SPAC.

  • The deal is backed by investors including Bernard Arnault and Vincent Bolloré.

Details: The deal will see Banijay join with online sports gambling company Betclic Everest Group and form a new company called FL Entertainment.

  • FL Entertainment will be listed on Euronext in Amsterdam starting July 1.
  • Banijay's Stéphane Courbit will serve as chairman of FL Entertainment with LOV Group's François Riahi as CEO. Marco Bassetti, CEO of Banijay, and Nicolas Beraud, CEO of Betclic, will remain in their current roles.

By the numbers: FL Entertainment Group will have an enterprise value of €7.2 billion, or €4.1 billion in equity value.

  • Revenue for FL Entertainment companies in 2021 is approximately €3.5 billion, with an adjusted EBITDA of about €609 million.
  • FL Entertainment has already secured more than €620 million in funding, primarily made up of approximately €220 million PIPE investments and €250 million.

Be smart: Banijay is one of the most prolific global content producers and owns over 120 production companies across 22 countries.

  • In 2020, Banijay acquired Dutch-based super-producer Endemol Shine Group for $2.2 billion.
  • Along with "Survivor," Banijay's reality formats include "Big Brother," "Deal or No Deal" and "Temptation Island," as well as scripted hits like "Peaky Blinders" and "Black Mirror."

What they're saying: "As a result of the transaction, the group will benefit from a robust balance sheet and will be very well positioned to capture growth in the entertainment industry," Courbit said in a statement.

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