Endeavor is looking to make a number of acquisitions in the content world and CEO Ari Emanuel said that he believes he can take advantage of other major media companies being tied up with other deals. Speaking at a keynote speech at the Mipcom event in Cannes, Emanuel also lifted the lid on a number of topics including its investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in light of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and addressed questions of conflict of interest around Endeavor Content.
Emanuel said, “There’s more acquisitions that we want to make. With Disney, Comcast and AT&T having to take 18 months to absorb those acquisitions, we see a pretty robust roadmap if we were to make some more acquisitions that are interesting to us. We’re looking at stuff right now.”
He added that its $2.4B purchase of IMG in 2013 has paid off, particularly as its sales team in Cannes with high-end dramas such as The First and The Little Drummer Girl, has paid off. “The funny thing is you look at that price compared to recent acquisitions, that was the cheapest acquisition in the sports arena. I’m really arrogant, so I have to be careful here, we’re geniuses. It was a great price.”
He addressed the often gossiped about line that Endeavor Content presents a conflict of interests to its clients, referring back to the days of Lew Wasserman. “The world has changed significantly; one of the worst things that could happen is a client firing us because we didn’t act in a fiduciary way. There’s lawyers, accountants and managers. I want to have alternatives. Not that they’re bad people, but studios look after studios. I’m creating an opportunity for clients to get ownership that they’ve never been able to get before. Everything we’re doing is to create a complement for our clients so that they have many opportunities. If they don’t want to do it, they don’t have to do it.
He added that he was “personally really concerned” about the situation in Turkey, where it is reported that Saudi Arabia may have killed U.S.-based reporter Khashoggi. “We’re monitoring the situation. That’s legally all I can say about it,” he added.