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ABL acts in Underbelly grab

ABL acts in Underbelly grab

Arnold Bloch Leibler has acted on behalf of international production conglomerate Banijay Group in the acquisition of a majority stake in the leading Australian production company Screentime.

Firms: Arnold Bloch Leibler (Banijay Group)

Deal: Acquisition of a majority stake in Screentime

Area: M&A

Value: Confidential

Key players: The transaction was conducted by ABL partner Rick Narev (pictured) and senior associate Kate Logan

Deal significance: The deal sees Banijay’s entry into Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, extending its presence to eleven countries globally, with Screentime’s catalogue to be distributed through Banijay International. Banijay will also draw upon Screentime’s expertise in the production of TV series, such as Underbelly, to forge a new presence in the scripted-content market.

Banijay Group is a French-based content creation company for television and multimedia platforms that was founded by former Endemol CEO Stephane Courbit with the backing of the European family interests associated with the LVMH and Fiat groups. Banijay comprises a network of leading international production companies and is engaged in strategic partnerships with innovative creative talent around the world. Formed in 1996 by Australian television industry veterans Bob Campbell, Des Monaghan and the Curran Family, Screentime is a specialist independent television production company with operations in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. It produces drama, reality, observational documentary, factual and game shows. Past productions include the Cloudstreet mini-series and the Popstars reality series.

 “Negotiating a transaction where the parties will be working together as partners afterwards always requires a special sensitivity to preserve the goodwill that brought the parties together in the first place. In this case, we had the added responsibilities brought about by geographical distance and a European client undertaking its first transaction in Australia,” said Narev.

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