FremantleMedia Buys Majority Stake in Israeli Production Firm

Ray Mickshaw / FOX
Abot Hameiri produces local versions of hit global formats, including 'The X Factor.'

Abot Hameiri specializes in entertainment formats, including the Israeli versions of 'The X Factor,' 'Survivor' and 'Amazing Race.'

FremantleMedia has snatched up another hot international indie production company, acquiring a 51 percent stake in Israeli outfit Abot Hameiri, a group best known for producing local versions of entertainment formats such as The X Factor, Survivor and Amazing Race.

Fremantle said Abot Hameiri, with its co-founders Eitan Abot and Guy Hameiri, will form the group's creative hub in Israel, developing original formats to feed into FremantleMedia's global distribution network.

“Israel is a highly creative market, and this acquisition gives us the perfect entry point into Israel given Abot Hameiri’s established relationships with broadcasters and talent, breadth of genre offering and creative fit,” said Sangeeta Desai, COO and CEO emerging markets at Fremantle.

In addition to local adaptations, the Israeli company also has created a number of original shows, including entertainment format Power Couple, which has sold to multiple territories, and successful drama series A Good Family.

FremantleMedia has been on a global buying spree of late, acquiring entertainment indies Man Alive Entertainment and Naked Entertainment in the U.K., Dutch factual group No Pictures Please, U.S. reality TV group 495 Productions and such scripted firms as British Corona Pictures in the U.K., Fontaram and Kwai in France and Italy's Wildside.