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26/07/2012

ITV Announces Acquisition And Production Partnership

ITV plc have announced that it had acquired Norwegian production company Mediacircus and had joined forces with leading Israeli broadcaster Reshet to form a strategic development and production partnership.
Kevin Lygo, Managing Director of ITV Studios, said that creating a strong international content business is key to the company’s five-year Transformation Plan.
“We are now beginning to build on our strengths with selective investments and partnerships at home and abroad,” Lygo said. “These announcements mark an important chapter in our growth story as we progress our plan to develop our creative pipeline and strengthen our production capability.”
Mediacircus is one of Norway’s most successful independent production companies. It was founded by Eldar Nakken and Jon Sverre Hoiden in 2006 and has bases in Bergen and Oslo.
Mediacircus will become part of ITV Studios Nordic, one of the region’s leading entertainment production companies, which has produced and co-produced over 40 television series in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
Hans Engholm, CEO of ITV Studios Nordic, said: "With the acquisition of Mediacircus, ITV Studios Nordic takes a major step into the Norwegian market. Mediacircus has demonstrated the highest levels of creativity and quality with their productions, which has resulted in hit formats. I am delighted that they are on board.”
Eldar Nakken, CEO of Mediacircus, said: "I am very proud and pleased to now be part of the great ITV family at a time when ITV Studios is investing in, and focusing on, creativity and expansion.”
An agreement has also been reached in principle for a new venture that will see ITV Studios and Reshet jointly source, develop and produce formats in Israel for both the Reshet network and the international market.
Paul Buccieri, Managing Director ITV Studios International and President & CEO ITV Studios America, said that an important part of the Transformation Plan was also to increase the company’s distribution network in key programme genres and territories.
He added:
“Israel has exploded on to the television market as a creative hothouse and has become a major exporter of wonderful shows which have entertained and engaged audiences not only in America but also across the world.
“I’m thrilled that we are entering into a partnership with Reshet and to be working with Reshet’s Head of International Sharon Gelbaum-Shpan, Erez Ben-Harush – Reshet VP of Content - and their teams.
“We will not only be combining our creative talents to develop new formats, but will also be using ITV Studios’ production and distribution expertise to create a pipeline of shows with international appeal for export globally.”
Sharon Gelbaum-Shpan, who will head the venture’s Israeli office, said:
" This innovative deal is the first of its kind in Israel. By marrying the creativity of our Reshet development team with the international expertise and reach of ITV Studios we believe we are at the beginning of building a dynamic hub that will generate worldwide success."

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