Entertainment One Acquires Canadian Factual TV Producer Paperny

eOne has been looking to expand its U.S. alternative content arm, which has such hit shows as "Mary Mary" on WE tv.

The deal, believed to be worth $27.2 million, will boost the company's unscripted TV business across North America.

LONDON – Production and distribution company Entertainment One has acquired Canadian factual TV producer Paperny Entertainment.

Financial details weren't disclosed, but the deal is believed to be worth $27.2 million (C$29.2 million).

EOne acquired the firm‎ from partners David Paperny, Cal Shumiatcher and Audrey Mehler.

"Recognizing the increasing appetite for unscripted content internationally, eOne is now turning its focus towards expanding its unscripted and factual portfolio to balance the company's diverse multigenre overall offering," the company said. "This deal will see eOne ramp up its activity in unscripted television production across North America."

Vancouver-based Paperny also has production operations in Toronto and New York. It makes documentaries, reality and lifestyle programs. Paperny has produced more than 500 hours of TV since it launched in 1994. The company said it expects to deliver 80 hours of original programming this year.

Paperny's successful shows include Timber Kings (HGTV) and Chow Masters (Travel Channel), as well as Cold Water Cowboys  (Discovery Channel Canada),Yukon Gold (History Canada), Chopped Canada (Food Network Canada).

"We are delighted to welcome David, Cal, Audrey and the Paperny team to eOne. Paperny has a very strong track record of success in unscripted television and they will keep their widely respected brand intact as they continue to do what they do best now under eOne," said John Morayniss, CEO, eOne Television.

"We are looking forward to Paperny augmenting our ever-expanding creative pipeline with compelling stories and factual content for audiences both at home and around the world," added Margaret O'Brien, president, Canada and COO, eOne Television.

"We are thrilled to join eOne," said Paperny. "eOne's vast distribution network and deep international relationships will allow Paperny Entertainment huge growth opportunities and greater ability for our team to produce and deliver hit shows."

eOne recently announced plans to expand its U.S. alternative content unit. Since launching the division in 2012, eOne has developed and produced such shows as Mary Mary (WE tv), The Sheards (BET), SWV Reunited (WE tv) and Big Surprise! specials for E! Entertainment.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai