Banijay International, French Reality TV Group Unveil Partnership

Banijay International/Canal 13
Banijay International sells television formats to shows such as 'Opposite Worlds' globally

The deal comes as Banijay explores a merger with 'Wife Swap' producer Zodiak Media.

Banijay International, a division of pan-European TV producer/distributor Banijay Group, has struck a partnership with La Grosse Equipe, one of France's leading reality TV producers.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, will see Banijay handle world sales for La Grosse Equipe's entire catalog, including reality TV hit Les Anges de la Tele Realite. The companies will also work together to develop new formats for the international market.

The deal comes as Banijay Group is in advanced merger talks with Zodiak Media, producer of such shows as Wife Swap. A combination of the two companies would create a new reality TV giant. Banijay owns such companies as Keeping Up With The Kardashians producer Bunim/Murray in the U.S., German producer Brainpool and Scandinavian production group Nordisk. Zodiak controls shingles across Europe, including France's GTV and Mona Lisa, and British firms RDF Television, IWC and Bwark.

A merged Banijay-Zodiak group would be better positioned to compete with rivals, including Discovery Communications- and Liberty Global-owned All3Media and Endemol Shine Group.

Banijay and Zodiak are already connected through Italian media firm De Agostini, which fully owns Zodiak and has a minority stake in Banijay.