After months of speculation, Fairfax Media has sold its Southern Star Group to Endemol in the Netherlands.
The Dutch production giant is buying 100% of the company from Australia’s Fairfax Media adding 14,000 hours of programming.
The deal includes Southern Star International, Southern Star Entertainment and Southern Star’s 49% share in the 10-year-old Aussie joint venture company Endemol Southern Star. The deal is dependent on regulatory approval, but is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2009.
Hugh Marks will continue as CEO of Southern Star Group. The Australian firm’s distribution arm Southern Star International will continue to be run by CEO Cathy Payne. Rory Callaghan will remain the MD of Endemol Southern Star and Southern Star Entertainment. The sales division is set to merge with Endemol’s own distribution arm, a move likely to result in job losses.
Southern Star is Australia’s largest independent television production and distribution group. Its drama titles include Out of the Blue, Love My Way, Bed of Roses (pictured), and Rain Shadow. Southern Star’s distribution library comprises titles including Home & Away, City Homicide, and McLeod’s Daughters.