ITV takes controlling stake in US factual, reality show producer Gurney

Editor | 22-12-2012

As part of its Transformation Plan to build a strong international content business to mitigate declining ad revenues, ITV plc is to acquire a controlling stake in Gurney Productions.

The UK’s leading commercial broadcaster sees the US as a key creative market and having a sizeable presence there is central to the expansion of its global content business.

Under the terms of the new deal ITV will pay $40 million for a 61.5% stake in the producer of factual entertainment and reality programmes for leading US cable television networks whose portfolio includes Duck Dynasty – currently one of the biggest cable TV shows in the US. Gurney Productions is a high margin business with three quarters of its revenues coming from returnable series and its 2012 EBITA is forecast to be at least $10 million.
ITV will have a put and call option to buy the remaining 38.5% of the company; the option can be exercised from 3 years after the initial deal and at the end of year 5.
Commenting on the deal Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV plc, said: “Growing ITV Studios is a key part of our strategy to rebalance the Group. Our studios business is already showing strong organic growth and the acquisition of Gurney is an important step forward as we continue to expand our international production capability. TV Studios America has been growing revenues at around 20% for the last two years under the leadership of Paul Buccieri. Gurney is a great company with terrific programme brands, which will add scale to our already successful US business.”