In a bid to expand its footprint in the English-speaking market, Paris-based media company Banijay Group has acquired The Men Who Built America producer Stephen David Entertainment (SDE), with an eye on developing its scripted slate.
The acquisition of the New York-based prodco is the company’s latest push into the U.S. since buying Bunim/Murray Productions in 2010 and most recently launching Banijay Studios North America. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
In addition to History Channel series The Men Who Built America, SDE’s credits include the docudrama The World Wars, also for History, as well as Discovery Channel’s The West and National Geographic Channel miniseries American Genius.
The deal sees Banijay Group take a controlling share of SDE - a move that is intended to bolster Banijay’s catalog with a library of series, as well as produce original series and, according to a statement, “larger-scale scripted entertainment in the U.S. for global exploitation across the Banijay infrastructure.”
Under the deal, Stephen David - founder and president of SDE – will report to David Goldberg, Banijay Group President and Banijay Studios North America CEO.
“This new deal underlines our policy to expand our footprint in the English-speaking market, bringing added value to our business as a whole,” said Marco Bassetti, Banijay Group CEO, in a statement. “I have huge respect for Stephen and very much admire the high quality and entertaining programs he produces. With SDE on board, our presence in the U.S. market becomes even stronger and more diverse.”
Banijay Group president Goldberg added: “This move complements our existing business and strengthens Banijay’s ability to break new creative ground in North America. We believe there is a great deal of opportunity for growth of the non-scripted and scripted documentary genres.
“We will also look to SDE to contribute to the development of the Banijay scripted activity that is a main objective of our U.S. strategy,” he added. “Stephen is an incredibly gifted talent and his strong track record as an award-winning content creator and producer makes SDE a great fit for the business we’re building in North America.”
Ron Milkes and Bryan Bowles of Bryor Media Partners represented SDE in the transaction.