Banijay Group moves into Oz, NZ and Ireland with Screentime

Louise Duffy | 05-09-2012

International production company Banijay Group and Australian production company Screentime have signed a deal that will see Banijay acquiring a majority stake in Screentime, including New Zealand, and Screentime’s interest in its affiliate company in Ireland.

The deal sees Banijay's first entry into all three territories, extending its presence to 11 countries globally, and Banijay’s distribution arm Banijay International representing Screentime’s catalogue.

With this alliance, Banijay will draw on Screentime’s production expertise to forge a new presence in the scripted content market. Screentime will gain access to Banijay’s wide portfolio of formats for local adaption.

Screentime is also known for its international reality hit Popstars, which has been produced in more than 50 countries and aired in over 100. A brand-new version of Popstars will be launched at MIPCOM in October.

Bob Campbell and Des Monaghan, Screentime founders, said: “We are delighted that Screentime is entering this association with Banijay, enabling us to become part of a major international production group. It will give Screentime and its people access to Banijay’s international creativity and innovation. At the same time it will provide a powerful and well-resourced distribution outlet for our programmes and formats through Banijay International.”

François de Brugada, executive vice President, Banijay Group, added: "We have been keen to extend our presence in English speaking territories, but we knew that we needed to be patient and wait to make the right choice. Screentime's expertise, creativity, impressive IP and attitude excite us and we believe the alignment of both our cultures will ensure a seamless and successful integration."

Screentime was formed in 1996 in a partnership between Des Monaghan, Bob Campbell and the Curran family's Capital Investment Group. Screentime has offices in Sydney, Auckland and Dublin and has created and produced a diverse range of programmes including the Underbelly series, Popstars, Cloudstreet, R.B.T., Brothers in Arms, Police TEN 7, Crownies and Beyond the Darklands.

Monaghan and Campbell will continue in their roles as executive chairman and managing director respectively, as will all other key executives. Capital Investment Group and Campbell will continue as significant shareholders in Screentime.

Banijay was created in 2008 and is led by Stephane Courbit, who was previously CEO of Endemol France. Its shareholders include the Agnelli family, the De Agostini family, Jean-Paul Bize (AMS Industries) and Bernard Arnault (LVMH).