The consolidation of independent unscripted production companies continues, with FremantleMedia buying a 75% stake in SallyAnn Salsano‘s 495 Prods. with the option to acquire the remaining 25%g in the future. Founded in 2006 by Salsano, 495 Prods. is behind such unscripted series as MTV’s Jersey Shore and spinoffs Snooki And JWOWW, The Show With Vinny and The Pauly D Project; Spike TV’s Tattoo Nightmares, which FremantleMedia distributes internationally, and Repo Games; MTV’s dating show Friendzone and the daytime syndicated talk show The Real. The company also produces Jerks With Cameras for MTV, Tattoos After Dark for Oxygen and CMT breakout hit Party Down South. “Our ambition is to continue to grow 495 Productions in the U.S. and to broaden its global footprint even further through our extensive distribution and production network,” FremantleMedia CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz said.
This is the latest in a rash of acquisitions involving U.S. and European indie production companies. Deals of late include Warner Bros’ takeover of Dutch company Eyeworks’ global interests outside the U.S., U.K.’s Tinopolis buying Top Chef producer Magical Elves, Pro Sieben-owned Red Arrow’s recent buy of Say Yes To The Dress maker Half Yard Prods, and ITV’s late 2012 blockbuster to acquire Duck Dynasty maker Gurney Productions.
There also had been word that FremantleMedia might be moving in on vast group All3Media — though it’s not clear how today’s news might impact that possibility. A TV industry exec says. If FremantleMedia acquires All3Media, it would create what an observer describes as “a very big beast.”