Entertainment conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery and John Malone’s cable and telecom giant Liberty Global are considering alternatives for their production joint venture All3Media, the largest TV production firm in Britain, whose titles include the likes of Fleabag, The Traitors and The Tourist, as well as the 2019 film 1917.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the partners are looking at a potential sale of All3Media, led by CEO Jane Turton, to a third party, but could also decide to have one of them buying out the other’s 50 percent stake. With the process at an early stage, a deal could also end up not materializing. Potential buyers mentioned by industry sources and analysts include the likes of ITV Studios, production giants Fremantle and Banijay, other media and entertainment players, as well as private equity firms. A deal for All3Media, which owns more than 50 production banners, including The Tinder Swindler and other documentaries maker Raw, could fetch £1 billion-£1.5 billion ($1.25 billion-$1.87 billion), according to observers.
In 2014, what was then Discovery and Liberty Global agreed to jointly buy All3Media in a deal that put an enterprise value of about $930 million on the company. For Discovery, at the time, the transaction was a way to tip its toe into the water of the production business. But the 2022 merger of Discovery with AT&T’s WarnerMedia to form Warner Bros. Discovery, led by CEO David Zaslav, made the company the owner of a huge Hollywood TV studio in addition to HBO, making the ownership of half of All3Media much less necessary and less appealing to the conglomerate.
Zaslav and members of his executive team have said the company’s production businesses are the Hollywood giant’s big content creation engine.
All3Media, Warner Bros. Media, Liberty Global and potential suitors all declined to comment.