STV has acquired a majority stake in unscripted indie Primal Media from the previous majority investor, Lionsgate.
Primal was founded in 2016 by Mat Steiner and Adam Wood and has produced a range of formats including RTS award-winning Release the Hounds (ITV2); Rose D’Or-winning Bigheads (ITV) and Carnage (Sky One).
The acquisition follows the strategic partnership announced by STV and Primal Media in February. Primal currently has comedy series Jerk on BBC3 and has two new programmes for C4, both currently in production.
There is no upfront consideration payable by STV and the agreement includes the option for STV to acquire the remaining shares in the future. Until that time, Lionsgate will retain a minority stake in the business with the founders holding the remaining equity.
STV Productions’ has also won a recommission of six-part series Inside Central Station for BBC Scotland, which will go into production later this year. Other recommissions of Antiques Road Trip (series 19 and 20) and Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (series 9), as well as Celebrity Catchphrase for ITV, are also confirmed. STV’s drama production, Elizabeth is Missing for BBC1, begins filming in Scotland next month with Glenda Jackson in the lead role. STV Productions is also producing new quiz format, The Cash Machine, for STV hosted by Lorraine Kelly.
Simon Pitts, Chief Executive, said: “It’s a little over a year since we set out our new strategy to deliver production and digital growth and re-establish STV as a creative force in Scotland and beyond. With a new team fully in place we are building real momentum and delivering encouraging results.
“Programming successes like recent drama The Victim for BBC1 demonstrate our growing creative strength, and the acquisition of Primal Media – whose founders have an unrivalled track record of devising hit entertainment formats – will further strengthen our creative pipeline as we seek to become one of the UK’s leading producers.
“Our digital vision is for the STV Player to become Scotland’s digital destination. With our Sky launch later this year we will be universally accessible across Scotland for the first time, offering a fantastic range of exclusive, live and on demand content from STV and a range of other broadcasters, on a free or subscription basis. The highlight of the autumn will be exclusive coverage of all 48 matches of the Rugby World Cup, streamed live on STV and the STV Player in full HD.
“We look forward to maintaining this rapid progress, delivering our strategy and generating attractive returns for our shareholders.”