European media group Mediawan is to acquire three major French TV production companies including the television division of Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp.
Mediawan, formed in 2016 by French entrepreneurs Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse after raising €250M ($300 million) in capital, revealed it was acquiring the non-U.S. television assets of Besson’s firm as well as Kaboul Kitchen group Makever and Call My Agent indie Mon Voisin Productions.
The acquisition of EuropaCorp’s TV assets comes after the film giant sold the division to Thomas Anargyros, previously Chief Executive of the TV division, for $13M. It turns out that, in fact, EuropaCorp sold the unit, which produces series including XIII, Flight of the Storks and Taxi Brooklyn, to Storia Television, a company owned 20% by Anargyros and 80% owned by Mediawan.
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The sale does not include EuropaCorp’s U.S. television division, which is in production on a second season of Taken for NBC.
Elsewhere, Mediawan has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire majority stakes in Makever and Mon Voisin Productions. Makever, which was established by Stéphane Drouet and Matthieu Viala, consists of six production companies – Makingprod, Scarlett, Vema Production, Mademoiselle Films, Love My TV and Alauda Films – that produce series including Canal+ Afghanistan comedy Kaboul Kitchen as well as France 2’s Captain Sharif and TF1’s The Red Band Society. Mon Voisin Productions was launched in 2006 by Dominique Besnehard and Michel Feller and produces series including France 2 comedy Call My Agent, which is also available on Netflix. The forthcoming third season of the show, will include stars such as include Jean Dujardin, Isabelle Huppert and Monica Bellucci.
These three acquisitions will be the latest high-profile European deals for the company after it acquired France’s Groupe AB in March 2017 and documentary form CC&C in July 2017. It is also looking to acquire kids and family brand On. The business hopes all three deals will be finalized during the first quarter of 2018.
Pierre-Antoine Capton, Mediawan’s Chairman of the Board, said: “These strategic investments in EuropaCorp TV, Makever and Mon Voisin Productions would be another milestone in the implementation of Mediawan’s strategy. With an extensive offering of premium content combining fiction, animated content and documentaries, Mediawan is in the best position possible to meet the substantial market demand. We have, in France and across Europe, a unique expertise in terms of audiovisual content creation, and are very proud to support these teams with their international development and to be partner with the best creative talents of the market: producers, directors, authors and actors.”
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