The British television giant TVI said on Tuesday that it had agreed to acquire a 79.5% majority stake in natural history television program producer Plimsoll Productions for around £103.5 million ($126 million) in cash.
The deal values Plimsoll at an enterprise value of £131 million ($150 million). Founded in Bristol in 2013, it has produced hundreds of hours of content watched and sold in nearly 200 countries.
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“Thanks to Plimsoll Productions, as a studio, we can continue to capitalize on the growing demand for natural history and factual programming,” said Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV.
The producer is at the origin of series whose tiny world and giant world for Apple+; hostile planet and supernatural planet for Disney; night on earth and Animal for Netflix and the next flagship series A year on planet earth for ITV, Tencent in China, Fox Nation in the United States and Ard Group in Germany.
“This acquisition is a further step in ITV’s strategy to expand its international content business,” the company said. “This further diversifies ITV Studios’ production base and will allow ITV to capitalize on the strong demand for content in the ever-popular natural history and factual genres. Plimsoll Productions has a strong network with all streamers worldwide, and this acquisition will strengthen and deepen ITV Studios’ relationship with streamers.
ITV also congratulated the Plimsoll team. “Under the leadership of Founder Grant Mansfield, Plimsoll Productions has built a solid reputation for operational and financial performance, he said. After the transaction, CEO Mansfield and senior executives and creatives will continue to manage company and to “play a key role in developing the program to maintain Plimsoll’s strong creative pipeline. They will work alongside ITV Studios Managing Director Julian Bellamy, Unscripted Director Angela Jain, UK, and their team.
“Plimsoll Productions is also expanding into the premium unscripted space with growing documentary and factual entertainment departments producing for major networks/platforms including BBC, ABC, Channel 4, CNN, History and Hulu,” also rated ITV. ITV Studios already has a relationship with Plimsoll as a distributor for A year on planet earth.
ITV will acquire 79.5% of Plimsoll’s share capital from private equity firm LDC, Mansfield and other existing Plimsoll shareholders. This includes £85.5 million ($104.2 million) payable to existing shareholders and the repayment of Plimsoll’s net financial debt on completion, which is expected to be around £17.6 million. sterling ($21.4 million).
The remaining 20.5% of the share capital will be held by Mansfield and other members of Plimsoll’s management team and strategic investors. The deal puts in place purchase and sale agreements which will give ITV the option to acquire the remaining stake, with the price dependent on Plimsoll’s earnings growth performance over the period to December 2027 It is capped at £79.5 million ($96.8 million) and payable from 2028.
“Significant opportunities in the premium unscripted international market make it the perfect time for Plimsoll to join ITV Studios,” said Mansfield. “There is a rather special strategic and cultural complementarity that will enable us to achieve our now shared, creative and commercial ambitions for Plimsoll.