In its second buy into a U.S. production company in less than six months, ITV has acquired a controlling interest in Cake Boss producer High Noon Entertainment. In December Duck Dynasty maker Gurney Productions sold a controlling stake to ITV for $40M. In the High Noon deal, ITV will pay $25.65M upfront for 60% of the company with a further payment in 2015 contingent on High Noon’s performance. In keeping with the way it structures most of its acquisitions deals, ITV also has a put and call option to buy the rest of the company which can be exercised in four-six years.
High Noon was founded in 1997 by former Liberty Media executive Jim Berger, and partners Duke Hartman and Sonny Hutchison. It supplies programming to 18 U.S. cable networks with shows like Cake Boss, Tough Love and Guinness World Records Gone Wild. The company made an operating profit of $5.7M in 2012. ITV has been on an acquisitions drive as part of its five-year Transformation Plan. Its other recent buys include UK producer The Garden, Norwegian production company Mediacircus and Britain’s So Television. Paul Buccieri, managing director of ITV Studios International and president and CEO of ITV Studios America, will have direct responsibility for High Noon.