ITV acquires The Voice creator Talpa Media

itvITV plc is acquiring Talpa Media B.V., the entertainment show producer behind The Voice. Established by Big Brother creator John de Mol, Talpa is a Netherlands based production and distribution business, focused on developing new formats that attract large audiences and have significant global commercial potentialOver the last six years, Talpa has created 75 shows airing in more than 180 countries, with 16 new formats broadcast last year. 

TalpaITV will pay an initial cash consideration of €500 million (approximately £355 million) with further payments dependent on Talpa’s future performance. The total maximum consideration, including the initial payment, is up to €1.1 billion (approximately £781 million).  This total is contingent on Talpa continuing to deliver significant profit growth over an eight year period as well as John de Mol’s continued commitment to the business during this time.

In the financial year to 31 December 2014, the company generated €233 million revenue from productions, format fees and new revenue sources, delivering €61 million EBITA.  

The transaction will be financed through existing cash resources and new debt facilities, and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015.

Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV, said: “Great content is at the heart of ITV’s growth strategy and the acquisition of Talpa builds on the success of our international content business and is absolutely in line with our desire to create and own formats that travel.  John de Mol and his team have an incredible track record of doing that consistently over many years and I’m delighted to welcome them to the ITV family. This is a great opportunity for ITV to accelerate its progress in building a global content business of scale.”

UK, London & The Netherlands, Hilversum

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WPP and ITV invest in digital content studio Indigenous Media

wppWPP is taking a significant minority stake in Indigenous Media along with ITV, the UK’s largest commercial broadcast network.

Indigenous Media LLC is a new digital studio that produces high-quality scripted content and develops channel brands for content distribution, founded by award-winning film makers Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet.

itvWPP and ITV will contribute advertising and distribution expertise, allowing Indigenous Media to focus on creating content that will attract brand sponsorships, and global distribution on multiple platforms. Other investors include Advancit Capital and individuals including Steven Tisch, Michael Price and Dr. Aaron Stern. Indigenous Media is based in Los Angeles.

Indigenous Media will focus on producing scripted hour-long and half-hour long series for digital platforms worldwide, as well as developing multi-platform content brands. Director/producers Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Justified, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business), Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Big Love, Last Days in the Desert), and Jake Avnet have won Oscars, Emmys and Tonys for their work. They bring well established relationships with such talents as Julia Stiles, Jennifer Beals, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Anna Paquin, Maggie Grace and Alfred Molina, and writers/directors Marta Kauffman, Betty Thomas, Lesli Linka Glatter, Paul Brickman, and Neil LaBute to the new company.

The Avnets and Garcia have already won critical acclaim for the female-centric WIGS digital content model they founded, which has Fox Broadcasting as its strategic partner. WIGS, which is available on Hulu and FOXNOW, develops high-quality original series, short films, and documentaries, all starring female leads. WIGS has been recognized by The Webbys, Streamy’s, IAWTV, and Writers Guild of America, among others.

UK, London & USA, Los Angeles, CA

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ITV acquires Leftfield Entertainment Group

itvITV plc is to acquire a controlling interest in Leftfield Entertainment Group from its founder and CEO Brent Montgomery. This acquisition, which has already gained regulatory approval, makes ITV Studios US Group the largest unscripted independent producer in the US and will be earnings enhancing from day one. Brent Montgomery will remain CEO of Leftfield Entertainment Group under ITV’s ownership.

Leftfield is a fast growing US independent producer of reality programmes who sold its first series in 2008. Leftfield also LeftFieldowns Sirens Media and has established two joint ventures – Loud Television and Outpost Entertainment. Together these businesses produce more than 300 hours of unscripted programming for over 30 US networks. The portfolio includes Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, American Restoration and Real Housewives of New Jersey.

ITV will make an initial cash payment of $360m for 80% of Leftfield, with further potential payments dependent upon Leftfield’s continued delivery of significant profit growth.

Leftfield Entertainment was formed in 2013 when Leftfield Pictures acquired Sirens Media. The company delivered $38m of EBITDA on a proforma basis in 2013 and ITV expects it to continue to deliver strong growth at a high margin into 2014 and beyond as the benefit of its acquisition of Sirens and its new joint ventures start to come through.

There are put and call options in place to buy the remaining 20% of Leftfield, under which a call can be exercised 3 years after the initial deal and a put and call at the end of year 5. The total maximum consideration for 100% of Leftfield is $800m, including the initial payment. This would only be paid if Leftfield delivers average EBITDA of at least $130m per annum between years 3 and 5.

Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV plc, said, “Leftfield is a fantastic success story, rapidly growing from a single pilot to become one of the biggest indies in the US. The team has combined creativity with strong production expertise, with over 70% of the business coming from returning series and a pipeline of new ideas coming through in 2014 and into 2015 that is really encouraging. We are delighted that Brent and the team are joining ITV in what represents a significant addition to ITV Studios as we continue to build our global content business over the long term.”

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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ITV acquires a controlling stake in DiGa Vision

itvITV plc today has acquired a controlling stake in DiGa Vision, the New York based independent producer of reality and scripted programming including Teen Wolf.

ITV will make an upfront cash payment for a 51% stake in DiGa Vision with a put and call option to buy the remainder of the company. The put and call option could be exercised from between 3 and 6 years, with the total amount paid linked to the performance of the company over that period.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company said that the multiple paid is similar to the range paid on ITV’s previous acquisitions.

The acquisition follows ITV’s acquisition in the last 18 months of Gurney Productions, High Noon Entertainment and Thinkfactory Media in the US as well as UK producers The Garden and Big Talk.

UK, London &USA, New York

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ITV plc – half year results

itvITV plc has announced its interim results for the half year ended 30 June 2013.

Strategic highlights

  • ITV continues to deliver  growth and continues to rebalance
  • The company has completed acquisitions in the UK and the US (see related articles below)
  • £20m of cost savings are on track
  • Profit to cash conversion is strong at 100%
  • Net debt of £52m following acquisitions, dividends and further debt repayments
  • The board has declared an interim dividend of 1.1p up 38%

Financial highlights

Click on the Financial Highlights table below to see an enlarged view

ITV half year 13

Adam Crozier, ITV Chief Executive, said:

“We’re making good progress with our strategy of growing and rebalancing the business as we build new revenue streams and improve margins. In the first six months of the year ITV continued to increase group profits and revenues despite the expected fall in our H1 advertising revenues.  Non-advertising revenues were up by 11% to £568m, driven by significant growth in Online, Pay & Interactive and in ITV Studios.

ITV Studios delivered further growth in the UK and internationally both organically and through selective acquisitions in our key target markets – with total Studios revenues up 11%. We’re showing real momentum in our strategy of creating a robust international content business and in building substantial strength and scale in the US market.

The improved variety and quality of the ITV schedule has driven a strong on-screen performance in the first half of the year with ITV Family SOV up 1%. Our cash generation remains strong and we continue to have a robust balance sheet to support the strategy and invest in our future growth.

As we anticipated, the shape of the television advertising market this year is very different to 2012. In spite of monthly volatility we expect ITV Family NAR to be broadly flat for the nine months to the end of September with Q3 up 9%.  We expect both ITV Studios and Online, Pay & Interactive to deliver double digit revenue growth for the year as a whole as we continue to rebalance and strengthen ITV.”

Click here to see the full announcement.

UK, London

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ITV acquires Big Talk

itvITV plc today has acquired Big Talk Productions and associated companies (Big Talk), the producer of award winning programmes Friday Night Dinner, Him & Her and Rev as well as films including Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.

ITV will pay an initial cash consideration and further capped cash payments contingent on Big Talk’s future performance.  The initial cash consideration will be dependent on the 2012/13 financial performance and is expected to be in the region of £12.5m.  The further capped cash payments are payable on the delivery of significant profit growth over the next five years.

UK, London

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ITV acquires The Garden

itvITV plc is to acquire 100% of the multi-award winning independent producer, The Garden, the company behind 24 Hours in A&E and Inside Claridge’s.

ITV will pay an upfront cash consideration of £18m with a further capped cash payment contingent on The Garden’s future performance.  The additional consideration is only payable on the delivery of significant profit growth over the next five years.  In 2012 The Garden made an operating profit of £2.5m. 

The Garden’s Chief Executives, Nick Curwin and Magnus Temple, said: “The values and ethos of The Garden will remain unchanged, as will our appetite for innovation, our insistence on delivering to the highest standards and our focus on the key relationships we’ve built up over the years. Being part of ITV will help us grow further in the UK and, in particular, to achieve our international ambitions. We will be working more closely with ITVS whilst continuing to concentrate as hard as ever on our important relationships with Channel 4 and the BBC. We are both totally committed to this new venture and we look forward to many successful and exciting years ahead with our new partners.”

UK, London

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