Warner Bros. Television Group has entered into an agreement to acquire all of Eyeworks’ businesses outside the U.S., covering 15 countries across Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, adds 13 new territories to Warner’s network of production companies. Once completed, it will “further strengthen Warner Bros.’ international television production capabilities and see Warner Bros. take over all of Eyeworks’ international distribution activities,” according to the American firm.
Warner’s takeover follows its acquisition of Shed Media in 2010 and BlazHoffski in The Netherlands and Belgium in 2011.
Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara said: “Our proposed acquisition of Eyeworks’ 15 local production companies, represents a significant next step in our strategy, further strengthening Warner Bros.’ position in global television.”
As part of the deal, Reinout Oerlemans – who set up Eyeworks in 2001 and is the current CEO of the Eyeworks Group – will step down from his role once the acquisition has been completed. He will move to LA and take on a new role as chairman of Eyeworks USA – which is not included in the takeover deal.
In a statement, Oerlemans said: “For Eyeworks, this is a defining step towards our ongoing objective to be a major player in content production around the globe. I realize this is the end of an era, because I will no longer be the CEO of the group, after an amazing period of 12 and a half years since I’ve built the company from scratch together with Ronald van Wechem and Robert van den Bogaard.
“Together with CFO Jan Peter Kerstens we have created Eyeworks as what it is today – a creative and versatile content company, operating as a tight knit web around the world. I know Ronald Goes [exec VP and head of Warner Bros. International Television Production] will be a tremendous leader for this fantastic group of talented people going forward.”
According to Eyeworks USA, CEOs JD Roth and Todd A. Nelson, chief operating officer Ross Weintraub, and president Brant Pinvidic will remain as that company’s senior leadership and will “join forces with Oerlemans to merge their creative efforts in the evolution of Eyeworks USA.”
The acquisition is expected to be complete later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.