Endemol Buys Majority Stake in Israeli Production Firm Kuperman

Ynon Kreiz Headshot 2011
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Former Endemol CEO Ynon Kreiz sells his stake in Kuperman, which produces a local version of "Big Brother."

COLOGNE -- Production giant Endemol has acquired a controlling stake in Israeli company Kuperman, which will be relaunched as Endemol Israel.

Ynon Kreiz, the Israeli TV exec who used to run Endemol as chairman and CEO, sold his 50 percent stake in Kuperman to the Dutch group and will exit the company. Co-owner Elad Kuperman will stay on as CEO of the new Endemol Israel.

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A leading indie in the television production hotbed that is Israel, Kuperman produces local versions of hit international formats, including Endemol's Big Brother, as well as developing its own reality and scripted series. Two local hits -- event show The Successor -- the Next Uri Geller and sitcom Traffic Light -- were both sold to the U.S. but domestic versions, (NBC's Phenomenon and Fox's short-lived Traffic Light, respectively) failed to take off.

As Endemol Israel, the company will continue to produce international formats for the Israeli market, but will also play a major role in developing new original shows for Endemol's global pipeline.

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“With the launch of Endemol Israel we establish a presence in one of the world’s most creative markets," said Endemol Group CEO Just Spee. "The high volume of innovative formats coming out of the region continues to grow, and our ability to deliver this content to our clients around the world makes this an exciting opportunity."

At least since the Israeli series Prisoners of War was successfully adapted as Showtime's Emmy-winning Homeland, Israel has become the go-to international territory for global TV companies looking for the next big thing.