Banijay Group Takes Controlling Stake in Stephen David Entertainment

Stephen David P 2015
Banijay Group

The producer behind Emmy-winning docuseries 'The Men Who Built America' is part of the French media company's U.S. expansion plans

In its latest move to expand into the U.S., French media company Banijay Group has taken a controlling stake in New York-based production company Stephen David Entertainment.

Financial details weren't disclosed. The companies also didn't specify the size of Banijay's stake.

Stephen David Entertainment (SDE) is the scripted and unscripted documentary producer behind Emmy-winner The Men Who Built America and the upcoming Sons of Liberty, which will premiere on The History Channel on Jan. 25.

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It has also produced History’s The World Wars, Discovery Channel’s The West and Investigation Discovery’s true crime series Redrum.

The move is the latest by the Paris-based group’s strategy to target the English-language market. It acquired Bunim/Murray Productions in 2010 and opened Banijay Studios North America last April after it brought former Endemol North America CEO David Goldberg on board as Banijay Group president and Banijay North America CEO.

“This new deal underlines our policy to expand our footprint in the English-speaking market, bringing added value to our business as a whole,” said Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti.

SDE founder Stephen David will report to Goldberg. "This move complements our existing business and strengthens Banijay’s ability to break new creative ground in North America,” said Goldberg. “We believe there is a great deal of opportunity for growth of the non-scripted and scripted documentary genres. We will also look to SDE to contribute to the development of the Banijay scripted activity that is a main objective of our U.S. strategy.”

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With SDE, Banijay will produce new original series and larger-scale scripted series in the U.S. for global export.