France's Banijay Buys Into Australian TV Outfit Screentime

The Screentime acquisition means Banijay now has a presence in 11 territories worldwide.

 

SYDNEY - French production and distribution house Banijay Group continues to expand its international footprint, announcing on Tuesday it will take a majority stake in major Australian TV production company, Screentime Ltd.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, includes Screentime’s New Zealand subsidiary and its distribution affiliate in Ireland.

Banijay’s distribution arm, Banijay International, will represent Screentime’s catalogue, including the long running local crime franchise, Underbelly, while Screentime will get access to Banijay’s portfolio of formats for local adaptation.

Screentime’s portfolio also includes talent quest, Popstars,which has been produced in more than 50 countries and aired in over 100. Screentime is refreshing the format which will be relaunched at the Mipcom TV market in October.

The Sydney based production company, which has offices in Auckland and Dublin, has also made a number of high end dramas for both free to air and pay TV here including Cloudstreet, Brothers in Arms and Crownies, and reality shows including RBT, Police TEN 7, andBeyond the Darklands.

François de Brugada, Banijay group executive vice president, said the group’s focus has, for some time, been to “extend our presence in English speaking territories.”

“We knew that we needed to be patient and wait to make the right choice. Screentime's expertise, creativity, impressive IP and attitude excite us and we believe the alignment of both our cultures will ensure a seamless and successful integration."

Screentime founders Bob Campbell and Des Monaghan added: “We are delighted that Screentime is entering this association with Banijay enabling us to become part of a major international production group. It will give Screentime and its people access to Banijay’s international creativity and innovation. At the same time it will provide a powerful and well-resourced distribution outlet for our programs and formats through Banijay International.”

Monaghan and Campbell will continue in their roles as executive chairman and managing director respectively as will all other key executives. The Capital Investment Group and Campbell will continue as significant shareholders in Screentime.

Until this deal, Screentime remained one of the few independent production companies down under not affiliated with an international major. 

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