ITV Acquires Controlling Stake in 'Teen Wolf' Producer
UPDATED: The U.K. TV giant buys 51 percent in DiGa Vision, which produces scripted and reality programming and was founded by former MTV executives Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley.
LONDON -- ITV said Wednesday that it has acquired a 51 percent stake in DiGa Vision, the New York-based producer behind Teen Wolf and other scripted and reality TV programs.
Former MTV executives Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley launched DiGa in 2011.
The U.K. TV giant didn't disclose financial details but said it would make an upfront cash payment for the controlling stake with a put and call option to buy the remainder of the company at a later time. The put and call option could be exercised within three to six years, with the total amount to be paid linked to the performance of the company.
"The multiple paid is similar to the range paid on ITV's previous acquisitions," the company said in a statement.
ITV, led by CEO Adam Crozier, has made a slew of acquisitions in the TV production sector as it looks to diversify its business beyond running networks and making money from TV advertising.
In the past 18 months, ITV has acquired U.S. TV producers Gurney Productions, the company behind Duck Dynasty; Cake Boss producer High Noon Entertainment; and Hatfields & McCoys producer Thinkfactory Media. It has also bought U.K. producers The Garden and Big Talk, which made Shaun of the Dead.
"The acquisition represents another step forward in ITV's strategy of building a strong international content business and is an important addition to the group's growing portfolio of production companies on both sides of the Atlantic," ITV said about the DiGa deal.
DiGa has gotten the green light for 12 series, including Girl Get Your Mind Right, primetime drama Ke$ha: Crazy Beautiful Life, both for MTV, and auction-based format Celebrity Home Raiders, which is set to launch on Lifetime in March.
Said Paul Buccieri, president and CEO, ITV Studios U.S. Group: "Tony and Liz have an excellent track record in creating original, engaging and compelling reality and scripted programming with an impressive content pipeline, which feeds into numerous networks. They're a true creative force and will be a great addition to the ITV Studios U.S. Group of companies. "
He added: "They have developed a brilliant understanding of pop culture and really know what appeals to the key teenage and young adult demographic, which is reflected in their online, mobile and social media strategy together with a successful brand extension and merchandising arm."
Said DiSanto and Gateley: "We are thrilled to join forces with ITV, a company that is truly committed to creative risk taking and great content. Paul Buccieri and his team share our sensibility and enthusiasm for breaking new creative ground, and we look forward to this next step in DiGa's evolution."
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