STV Studios and Greenbird Media have announced a new deal which will bring Greenbird’s network of 15 independent production companies into the STV Studios family of labels for an initial cash consideration of £21.4m.
The deal boosts the number of labels within STV Studios from nine to 24 and will create an “unrivalled network of senior creative leaders and a significantly expanded forward pipeline of new programme ideas.”
As a result of the acquisition, STV Studios now has expanded bases in Glasgow and London, as well as offices in Cardiff, Belfast, Brighton and Manchester, “strengthening its ability to take advantage of the continuing growth of production in the nations and regions.”
Since its formation in 2012, Greenbird has built a network of producers in the UK, with an archive of 2,000+ hours of content. This year, companies within the Greenbird network – now part of STV Studios – will produce over 350 hours of new programming across 25 returning series.=
Some of the hit shows made by the producers in Greenbird’s network include: LEGO Masters (Tuesday’s Child for Channel 4/FOX) and The Hit List (Tuesday’s Child for BBC One); BAFTA-winning The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan (Rumpus Media for BBC Two) and Late Night Lycett (Rumpus Media for Channel 4); NTA-winning Kate Garraway: Caring for Derek(Flicker for ITV1); and Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing(Owl Power for BBC Two).
The new combined business will pursue an international growth strategy, working with the producers, to generate maximum value from their shows outside the UK, for example building on Tuesday’s Child’s continued international success with formats like LEGO Masters (20 territories including UK and US) and STV Studios’ success with Bridge of Lies (16 territories including UK and Spain).
Greenbird founders, Jamie Munro and Stuart Mullin, will join the STV Studios board in the roles of Chief Commercial Officer and Finance & Integration Director respectively, working alongside Chief Operating Officer, Paul Sheehan, and under the leadership of Managing Director, David Mortimer.
The merged STV Studios business will be “materially earnings-enhancing” from day one and is funded from STV Group’s existing financial resources.
Simon Pitts, STV CEO, said: “Growing STV Studios into the UK’s #1 nations and regions production company is one of our core strategic objectives. This transformative acquisition represents a major step towards that goal, adding significant scale and creative firepower to the group and immediately accelerating STV’s overall diversification in terms of both revenue and profit. We’re delighted to be partnering with Greenbird and to welcome their incredibly talented network of creative leaders to the STV family as we jointly aim to grow our production base in the UK and internationally.”
Jamie Munro and Stuart Mullin, Greenbird founders, said:“This is an exciting new chapter in Greenbird’s history. We are hugely proud of the Greenbird incubator model we have built. It has given creatives space to flourish and deliver some of the most innovative, entertaining and loved programmes in the UK. Their creative power is unrivalled and has been recognised by viewers, critics, awards panels and through the volume of international sales that their shows have generated.
“We’re delighted to be working with Simon and David at STV. We look forward to a future together helping a wider network of creatives realise their ambitions.”
David Mortimer, Managing Director of STV Studios said: “Over the last four years we have transformed STV Studios’ creative and commercial performance, so now feels like the right time to take our next big step towards becoming one of the UK’s most successful production networks.
“I’ve known and worked with many of the team at Greenbird and their associated companies previously and can’t wait to get on with the job of creating an environment for creatives to thrive in. Jamie and Stuart have built a brilliant business with a bespoke approach that has delivered fantastic results. They’ll bring unrivalled commercial expertise as part of our senior management team and I know that over the next few years, together we will be making some huge television shows for broadcasters and streamers both here in the UK and around the world, so this feels like an exciting new era for STV Studios.”
The move comes five years after Keshet International acquired a majority stake in Greenbird.
Jamie and Stuart added: “We’ve had a great five years in partnership with Keshet International and would like to thank them for all their support during this time.”
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