Nine months after bringing in former Endemol North America CEO David Goldberg to launch Banijay Studios North America, the French media company is making another move in the American marketplace, acquiring a controlling stake in New York-based production company Stephen David Entertainment.
Under the deal, which I hear is worth about $35 million for 60% of SDE, Banijay will add to its library of ready-made original series and plans to expand into producing larger-scale scripted series in the U.S. for global distribution and exploration across the Banijay infrastructure. Stephen David, founder and president of SDE, will report to David Goldberg, Banijay Group President and Banijay Studios North America CEO. SDE gives Banijay Group a scripted/documentary U.S.-based player to compliment its unscripted subsidiary, Bunim-Murray Productions, managed by Jon Murray, along with the newly launched Banijay Studios North America.
SDE produces non-scripted content and scripted documentary series, including Emmy-nominated docudrama mini-series The World Wars (History); Emmy-winning event mini-series The Men Who Built America (History) and The West (Discovery Channel); anthology mini-series American Genius (National Geographic Channel) and true crime series Redrum. SDE’s most recent production, three-part event mini-series Sons of Liberty, premieres on History on January 25. The company owns in-house post-production facility.
“This new deal underlines our policy to expand our footprint in the English-speaking market, bringing added value to our business as a whole,” said Marco Bassetti, Banijay Group CEO. “With SDE on board, our presence in the U.S. market becomes even stronger and more diverse.”
Added David Goldberg, “We believe there is a great deal of opportunity for growth of the non-scripted and scripted documentary genres. We will also look to SDE to contribute to the development of the Banijay scripted activity that is a main objective of our US strategy.”
Stephen David Entertainment was represented in the transaction by Ron Milkes and Bryan Bowles of Bryor Media Partners.