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Entertainment

CJ ENM buys Hollywood studio Endeavor Content for $775 mn

Endeavoring to become Asia's Marvel Studios, CJ will tap the intellectual property of the producer of La La Land

By Nov 19, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

CJ ENM buys Hollywood studio Endeavor Content for 5 mn

CJ ENM Co., South Korea's entertainment powerhouse, has agreed to buy an 80% stake in the content unit of Endeavor Group Holdings for $775.3 million, the company said on Friday.

The acquisition of Endeavor Content Parent, LLC. marked CJ Group's largest-ever purchase since it entered the entertainment industry in 1995. The deal was aimed at strengthening the Korean company's capabilities of global content creation and building multiple studios, according to its regulatory filing.

"It is very rare for a global film studio like Endeavor Content to come on the market,” a CJ ENM source told The Korea Economic Daily. “As soon as it was put up for sale, we set up a task force team and actively participated in the negotiations.”

Endeavor Group, based in Beverly Hills, California, is an entertainment and talent agency headed by Hollywood mogul Ari Emanuel. It has been involved in the production and distribution of many Golden Globe and Oscar award-winning films including La La Land and Call Me By Your name, as well as BBC hit dramas such as Killing Eve and The Night Manager. 

After closing the acquisition in the first quarter of next year, CJ ENM will make full use of Endeavor's intellectual property to bolster its businesses, including the over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform TVing, the company source said.

CJ ENM, led by CJ Group Vice Chairman Miky Lee, has been aggressively pursuing acquisitions, aiming to capitalize on the global success of K-content ranging from TV series and movies to pop music groups. 

Last June, the company announced a plan to spend 5 trillion won ($4.2 billion) to produce original content over the next five years, to become Asia's Marvel Studios.

It has been in exclusive talks to acquire a controlling stake in SM Entertainment Co., the country's first-generation music label. Recently, it acquired Moho Film, a domestic production company owned by Park Chan-wook, a renowned Korean film director.

CJ ENM is also expanding OTT media services to better compete with Netflix as well as Disney Plus, which landed in South Korea this month.

Its OTT platform TVing Co. recently joined hands with the country's online giant Naver Corp. to make inroads into Japan and Taiwan next year and into the US in 2023.

(Updated on Nov. 20 after CJ ENM's public disclosure)

Write to Chae-yeon Kim at why29@hankyung.com

Yeonhee Kim edited this article.

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