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Fox-Apollo JV to bring 'Big Brother', 'Masterchef' under one roof

(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox and Apollo Global Management LLC agreed to combine three of their TV production companies behind hit shows such as "Big Brother", "American Idol" and "Masterchef" under one group.
/ Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox and Apollo Global Management LLC agreed to combine three of their TV production companies behind hit shows such as "Big Brother", "American Idol" and "Masterchef" under one group.

The companies said they would set up a joint venture to hold Apollo-controlled Endemol and Core Media and Fox's Shine Group.

Fox and Apollo would each own 50 percent of the new entity.

Shine Group's popular shows include "Masterchef", "The Biggest Loser" and "Minute to Win It".

Apollo's Endemol owns reality TV show formats such as "Big Brother", "Wipeout" and "Deal or No Deal" and its Core Media unit co-owns "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance".

The group's businesses will operate in over 30 markets and include 600 scripted and reality TV shows, the companies said in a statement.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014.

Sophie Turner Laing, former managing director of content at BSkyB, will become the group's CEO.

Endemol Chief Executive Just Spee and Shine Group CEO Alex Mahon would step down in 2015, after close of the transaction.

Fox said in May that it entered into a preliminary agreement with Apollo to create a joint venture.

(Corrects paragraph 5 to say Core Media co-owns, not owns, "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance")

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)