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The dealmaking feeding frenzy at Banijay will continue.
The international production giant has been on a buying spree these past few years, acquiring nearly a dozen companies in 2022 alone. On Monday, in a signal it is pushing forward with its acquisition-based growth strategy, Banijay named a head of mergers & acquisitions (M&A).
Stéphane Préfol, currently an associate director at French advertising and PR conglomerate Publicis Groupe, will join Banijay in the new role on March 6. Based in Paris, he will report to Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti and CFO Cédric Brignon. Préfol is an acquisitions wiz, having worked on more than 40 deals at Publicis. His background is in investment backing. Before joining Publicis, he worked as an analyst at Wagram Corporate Finance and was a senior associate at Kepler Corporate Finance.
“With over 10 acquisitions completed in 2022 alone, it was important for us to have a concentrated position in the team focused purely on M&A,” Bassetti said in a statement announcing the appointment. “We’ve made no secret of our ambitions for further growth into 2023 and with Stéphane, we can continue to be more effective in broadening our business offering, building our reputation as a go-to for talent both in content and beyond.”
Already the largest independent production group in the world, Banijay controls more than 120 production companies across 22 territories and represents such brands as Survivor, Big Brother, Peaky Blinders and MasterChef globally.
The company began its ambitious expansion in earnest with the $2.2 billion acquisition of Endemol Shine, a deal completed in 2020. More recent buys include taking over Mythbusters producer Beyond International in Australia, and acquiring majority stakes in Israel’s MoviePlus Productions, producers of HBO’s Our Boys, and in Belgian TV drama outfit jonnydepony.
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