ITV acquires Plimsoll Productions | Media Investment | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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In a further expansion of its growing and increasingly profitable international content business, ITV plc has agreed to acquire a 79.5% interest in Plimsoll Productions, the largest independent producer of natural history programmes in the world.
Polimsol productions 14JUNe2022
Founded in Bristol in 2013, the centre of excellence for natural history programming, the Bafta, Emmy and Academy award winning producer has produced hundreds of hours of content which is watched, and sold, in nearly 200 countries. The producer is behind series including Tiny World and Giant World for Apple+; Hostile Planet and Supernatural Planet for Disney; Night on Earth and Animal for Netflix and the upcoming series, A Year on Planet Earth for ITV, Tencent in China, Fox Nation in the US and Ard Group in Germany.

Plimsoll Productions is also expanding across the premium unscripted space with growing documentary and factual entertainment departments producing for major network/platforms including BBC, ABC, Channel 4, CNN, History and Hulu.

ITV’s investment comprises a cash consideration of approximately £103.5 million, valuing the growing premium factual producer at an Enterprise Value of £131 million. The outstanding 20.5% of share capital will be held by Plimsoll’s management team and strategic investors. Plimsoll generated EBITDA of £10.0 million for the 12 months to 31 August 2021 and is forecasted to deliver EBITDA of around £5.5 million in the second half of 2022.

The acquisition further diversifies ITV Studios production base and is designed to enable ITV to take advantage of the strong demand for content across ever-popular natural history and factual genres. ITV Studios already has a relationship with Plimsoll Productions as the distributor for A Year On Planet Earth. Plimsoll Productions' also has a strong network with global streamers and this acquisition will strengthen and deepen ITV Studios' relationships with the streamers.

Following the transaction Plimsoll Productions founder Grant Mansfield, together with his senior management and creatives, will continue to manage the business and play a role in programme development to maintain Plimsoll's creative pipeline. They will work alongside ITV Studios managing director Julian Bellamy, director of unscripted, UK, Angela Jain and their team. Plimsoll Productions' distribution arm Magnify Media  will work alongside ITV Studios.

Commenting on the deal, Mansfield said: "The significant opportunities in the international premium unscripted market make this the perfect time for Plimsoll to join ITV Studios. There is a quite special strategic and cultural fit that will enable us to achieve our, now shared, creative and commercial ambitions for Plimsoll. We're excited to be part of ITV Studios' expanding global force in content and delighted that, from today, this powerful new partnership is officially active."

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall, added: "Growing ITV Studios with an exciting pipeline of premium programmes is core to our strategy as we further diversify the business by genre, by geography, by customer and grow ahead of the market. Through Plimsoll Productions, as a Studio, we can continue to capitalise on the growing demand for natural history and factual programming and I am really pleased to welcome Grant and the team."