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Endemol shells out more than $60 million for a majority stake in Authentic Entertainment

August 9, 2010 |  4:13 pm

Endemol, the producer of numerous reality shows including ABC's "Wipeout" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," has struck a deal to acquire a majority stake in Authentic Entertainment, the production company whose credits including Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" and "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."

Although terms were not disclosed, a person familiar with the situation put the price tag at more than $60 million.

"This deal reinforces our position in the U.S. while also giving us global leverage that comes with belonging to the Endemol network," said Lauren Lexton, a co-founder of Authentic Entertainment.

For Endemol, acquiring a majority stake in Authentic gives it an even bigger choke hold on the reality world. It already has large stakes in Original Media ("LA Ink," "The Rachel Zoe Project") and 51 Minds, which produces many of VH1's reality shows including "Rock of Love."

"This acquisition further strengthens our presence in North America," said Ynon Kreiz, chairman and chief executive of Endemol Group. Kreiz went on to say that the deal for Authentic, along with other recent acquisitions will "significantly contribute to our plans for further growth in the U.S. cable space."

Endemol is owned by Goldman Sachs, Mediacinco and Cytre.

-- Joe Flint