ITV Acquires U.K. Production Company Twofour

ITV CEO Adam Crozier

The firm has made such shows as celebrity diving series 'Splash!' and 'The Jump,' in which celebrities try to master various winter sports.

U.K. TV giant ITV has acquired U.K. TV production firm Twofour Group.

The Plymouth-based company has made such shows as celebrity diving series Splash! and The Jump, which sees celebrities try to master various winter sports.

ITV said it agreed to pay $87 million (£55 million) for a 75 percent stake right away. There is a put and call option for the remaining 25 percent that can be exercised at the end of 2017 and between the end of 2019 and 2021. Additionally, Twofour has a put and call option to acquire the remaining 49 percent of its subsidiary Mainstreet that can be exercised between 2018 and 2023.

"The total maximum consideration for Twofour and the remaining 49 percent of Mainstreet is £280 million ($440 million) with contingent payments dependent on both businesses delivering exceptional profit growth to £60 million ($95 million) in aggregate over the payment period," ITV said.

"The acquisition, which will be earnings enhancing from day one, supports ITV Studios’ growth internationally by increasing its exposure to factual entertainment formats and drama and bringing new creative talent to ITV," the company said.

Twofour recorded 2014 revenue of $140 million (£91 million), according to an annual survey by Broadcast magazine. ITV said the company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to $7.9 million (£5 million). Twofour has seven production labels: Boom, Boomerang, Delightful, Indus Films, Mainstreet, Oxford Scientific Films and Twofour.

While much of its business has been focused on Britain, it has started to build a presence in the U.S. via Twofour America.

Said Kevin Lygo, managing director of ITV Studios: "Great creative talent, fantastic content and brilliant production expertise are central to ITV Studios’ strategy, so I'm delighted that the Twofour Group is joining our family of production companies as we continue to boost ITV Studios’ growth in the U.K. and internationally."

The deal is the latest for ITV, led by CEO Adam Crozier. It has acquired such U.S., European and U.K. production firms as John de Mol's Dutch production company Talpa Media, Pawn Stars producer Leftfield Entertainment Group, Duck Dynasty producer Gurney Prods, Hatfields & McCoys producer Thinkfactor Media, Teen Wolf producer DiGa Vision, Cake Boss maker High Noon and Shaun of the Dead producer Big Talk.

ITV's most recent acquisition was a deal in early June for Poldark producer Mammoth Screen in the U.K.

Twitter: @georgszalai

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