Banijay Group is continuing its global expansion by buying a majority stake in Screentime, the Australian production company behind reality show Popstars.
As part of the deal, Banijay acquires Screentime’s affiliate in Auckland, and Screentime’s interest in its affiliate company in Dublin.
This marks Banijay’s first entry into Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, just a week after its distribution arm, Banijay International, opened up a London outpost to strengthen its UK presence.
Banijay International will represent Screentime’s catalog, which includes the Underbelly drama series, Popstars, factual series R.B.T., Police TEN 7, and Beyond the Darklands; and will launch a “refreshed” version of Popstars at MIPCOM in October.
Screentime’s executive chairman Des Monaghan and MD Bob Campbell will continue in their roles, as will all other key executives, Banijay said. The Group plans to draw on Screentime’s expertise to forge a new presence in the scripted content market, while Screentime will gain access to Banijay’s portfolio of formats for local adaption.
In a joint statement, Screentime’s co-founders Monaghan and Campbell said the deal “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 programs and formats through Banijay International.”
François de Brugada, exec VP of 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.”