Jun 14, 2022

ITV goes back to nature to tap into demand from streamers

ITV has bought a majority stake in a natural history programme maker that has produced shows for Netflix and Disney, as the UK broadcaster seeks to tap into demand for more factual nature content from the world's biggest streaming groups. ITV has acquired a 79.5 per cent stake in the independent group for £103.5mn from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, and Plimsoll founder and chief executive Grant Mansfield. "Natural history programming is incredibly . . . global and we're obviously a big global player," said Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITV Studios, a consortium of 60 production companies that create and distribute programming. ITV said it had the option of acquiring the outstanding 20.5 per cent of Plimsoll's shares for an amount dependent on the production company's profit growth in the period to the end of 2027, and up to a cap of £79.5mn. ITV said Plimsoll is forecast to deliver earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of about £5.5mn in the first half of 2022. "The significant opportunities in the international premium unscripted market make this the perfect time for Plimsoll to join ITV Studios," said Mansfield.

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