Endemol Shine Group, a leading media company that produces and distributes multi-platform entertainment content, wanted to invest in new, longer-term projects to meet growing audience demand. But as a highly leveraged organisation, the company needed to self-fund these ventures. Treasury therefore embarked on a challenging but rewarding transformation journey to improve internal workflows and make cash balances across the group work harder.
Although Endemol Shine has traditionally produced a number of game shows for television, as well as serialised dramas, the market is increasingly calling for more scripted productions, such as films and series. These require investment over an extended timeframe, however, given the lifecycle of producing a film– from scriptwriting and securing buy-in from a broadcaster, to location scouting, casting, filming and editing. As such, the level of working capital required by the group is that much higher.
There is no unlimited external funding potential for these scripted productions because the group was – and still is – highly leveraged. Besides, our credit rating is CCC+, which makes it challenging to borrow from banks at a reasonable rate, and we were already paying a significant amount of interest per annum on our existing financing. It was clear that we needed to look for internal efficiencies to help free up cash from inside the business and to put surplus balances to better use.
So, in April 2017, we embarked on a treasury transformation project to do just that. We knew that there were significant efficiencies to be achieved because when Endemol and Shine were merged at the beginning of 2014, creating the Endemol Shine Group, the resulting treasury set-up was not really done ideally given the company was involved in many follow up transactions and restructurings.