Israeli media firm Keshet, the company best known for transporting Homeland to the U.S., has acquired a majority stake in British production group Greenbird Media. The deal was unveiled at the In-TV conference in Jerusalem, which kicks off today.
The move is Keshet’s largest international acquisition and gives it a major presence in the UK, with production companies including Tuesday’s Child, the company behind ITV and Fox’s You’re Back In The Room, and Crackit Productions, which makes nun-based reality series Bad Habits (above) for Viacom’s Channel 5.
Greenbird, which was set up by joint managing directors Jamie Munro, who was previously boss of Shine TV and Stuart Mullin, former finance chief at Wall to Wall and Argonon, in 2012, was previously backed by BBC Worldwide. It will continue to offer its production companies with innovative funding models, while Keshet International will become the international distribution partner for the 13 production companies.
Other producers in the group include The Man In The High Castle co-producer Big Light Productions, Riverdog Productions, set up by Come Dine With Me creator Nell Butler, Wendy Rattray’s Hello Halo, Sharon Stansfield and Nicky Hegarty’s Handsome Productions, PI Productions, established by Grand Designs creator John Silver, Owl Power, from British comedians Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer, Asian Provocateur producer Rumpus Media, Just Tattoo Of Us indie Gobstopper Television, The Sikh Crown producer Top Hat Productions, Stupid Man, Smart Phone producer Kalel Productions and Trump’s War On The Border producer Flicker Productions.
The deal has been brokered by Keshet’s Managing Director UK and West Europe Sammy Nourmand, Keshet’s Head of Business Affairs Viktor Vakrat and Keshet CFO Sigal Alboher and Munro and Mullin for Greenbird Media. Greenbird Media was advised by ACF Investment Bank throughout the process and the legal team at Wiggins acted on its behalf. Keshet International was represented by KI General Legal Counsel and SVP Business Affairs Avital Onn Shachar and the team at Simons Muirhead Burton.
Keshet International’s Managing Director UK and West Europe, Sammy Nourmand, said, “Jamie and Stuart have created a nurturing and supportive environment for the impressive stable of producers they work with. The quality content that the indies produce speaks for itself and the opportunity to work with the team at Greenbird and those IPC’s was too good to turn down. The prospect of KI and Greenbird, running off into the playground like a pair of five-year-olds should be lots of fun.”
Greenbird Media Joint Managing Director Jamie Munro, added, “We would like to thank BBC Worldwide for believing in us at our inception. Now it’s time for us to take our next step. We are excited about working with Keshet International who are a like-minded, successful, international partner with an inherent commercial drive which will help us to continue to deliver the support we provide for the amazing production companies we work with.”