Endemol ‘buys into Israeli channel’

Big Brother creator Endemol has bought into Reshet, the Israeli company that jointly franchises local net Channel 2, according to local reports.

150708_0629_big_brother_oz_2The deal sees Endemol inject US$28.4 million into the network in return for a 33% share but is subject to regulatory approval, according to Israeli news outlet Haaretz.

The structure of the deal dictates Reshet’s current shareholders – the Ofer family and Ehud Angel, who hold a joint 51% stake, the Strauss family, Polar Communications and Aviv Giladi – will have their holdings reduced proportionally to allow Endemol to become an investor in the company.

Haaretz reports Reshet has been working to reduce a large debt burden and the cash injection will go some way to easing that. Endemol, which has spent much of the past couple of years wrestling with its own debt issues, moved into Israeli television ownership earlier this year with the acquisition of Kuperman Productions (now renamed Endemol Israel).

Israel has been identified as a key creative formats territory, with Keshet International successfully launching Rising Star and spy drama format Homeland globally and Armoza Formats getting numerous titles away with international broadcasters.

Reshet, meanwhile, has been involved in a fierce rivalry will fellow Channel 2 licensor Keshet. Channel 2 will become singularly owned by one of them in 2015, with the other broadcaster taking a new slot.

Endemol, which counts Big Brother (pictured) as its largest hit, declined to comment on the deal, while Reshet could not be contacted before press time.

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