Global production and distribution company Banijay Group has secured €365 million (US$416 million) capital funding that will be used to finance the acquisition of Survivor creator Castaway Television Productions.
The funds, which come in the form of a five-year bond, will also be used to refinance Banijay’s existing debt that resulted from its merger with Zodiak Media, a deal that closed in February 2016 with estimated revenues hovering at US$1 billion.
Banijay Group is controlled by Banjiay founder Stéphane Courbit’s LOV Group, Italy’s De Agostini Group and France’s Vivendi. The company has operations in the U.S., Scandinavia, Italy, the UK, Australia and France.
Castaway owners Bob Geldof, Charlie Parsons and Waheed Alli agreed to sell off the company and Survivor format in March to the France-based conglomerate. Banijay Rights will now have the competition format in its arsenal heading into the 2017 MIPCOM Market in Cannes, France this October.
The transaction was led by Natixis, Société Générale and Credit Suisse, and generated a high level of interest from European and French investors.
Banijay’s lawyers for the fundraising operation were Kirkland & Ellis and Ayache. The banks were advised by Latham & Watkins.