TV production powerhouse Banijay Group has completed a 365M euro ($416M) capital raise which will be used to finance the acquisition of Castaway Television Productions. The latter is the creator and rights owner of hit international format, Survivor. The funds will also go towards refinancing existing debt that resulted from Banijay’s 2015 merger with Zodiak which created a pan-European giant.
Castaway’s owners, Bob Geldof, Lord Waheed Alli and Charlie Parsons, reached an agreement with Banijay in March to sell the company for an undisclosed sum. Under the deal, Banijay Rights will add Survivor to its catalogue. Parsons created the original format which went on to be a global success that has aired continuously around the world since 1997.
After completion of the sale, Parsons will carry on as executive producer on the U.S. version whose 35th season debuts in September.
France-based Banijay Group is controlled by Stéphane Courbit’s Lov Group along with Italy’s De Agostini and France’s Vivendi. It also has operations in the U.S., UK, Scandinavia, Italy and Australia.
Among the companies it owns are Bunim/Murray (Keeping Up With The Kardashians). Other key programs and formats include Beat The Star, 71 degrees North, Fort Boyard, Koh Lanta and Versailles.
The fund-raising was led by Natixis, Société Générale and Credit Suisse and was oversubscribed, generating “a high level of interest from European and French investors,” Banijay said.