Discovery Communications and Liberty Global have agreed to buy UK-based TV programme maker and distributer All3Media for £550 million (€673 million).
The buyers will form a 50-50 joint venture to acquire All3Media, which is known for shows such as Skins, Midsomer Murders, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and The Only Way is Essex.
Announcing the deal, Discovery and Liberty said that All3Media will continue to operate under the same name as a standalone, independently managed entity, and that they will “preserve All3Media’s creative independence and focus on serving its global broadcasting partners.”
The buyers will buy All3Media for an enterprise value of £550 million, which is roughly eight and a half times its EBITDA, from its founders and private equity firm Permira. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, pending regulatory approvals.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Discovery on this transaction. In view of the increased competition for great content and non-linear rights, All3Media represents a smart strategic investment for us over the long-term,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries. “This is just the first step in our mission to own and develop content assets that support our core distribution platform across Europe.”
David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications added: “This venture allows us to work closely with Liberty Global, a valued partner and the largest international cable company, in managing a financially strong, innovative and creatively prolific production company.”
Steve Morrison, chairman and co-founder of All3Media said: “This new partnership will enable All3Media to expand further through multiple avenues of growth around the world, including in the US market, which has been a driver for our business for the past several years.”
In total All3Media has a catalogue of more than 8,000 hours of content across various genres, and claims to be the largest production group in the UK – the business comprises 18 production companies such as Lime Pictures, Lion Television and Studio Lambert.
Headquartered in London, the firm also claims a strong presence in the US, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand and has 26 creative centres around the world.
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