In what is being hailed as a major deal, Banijay Group and Zodiak Media have agreed terms to merge the two companies, who, between them, generate revenues of more than £640 million ($1 billion USD).
When it closes, the merger will create one of the biggest production and distribution companies not owned by a larger media company. The new company, which has not yet been named, will be led by CEO Marco Bassetti and Chairman Stéphane Courbit.
Details of the deal are scant, with Banijay and Zodiak only saying that it will expand the range of both companies, with the merged entity having a footprint in some 18 countries. An extensive sales arm will handle worldwide rights distribution and licensing for both in-house and third party content.
Some of the properties (both scripted and unscripted) controlled by the two companies include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Wife Swap, The Secret Millionaire, The Inbetweeners, Totally Spies, Fort Boyard, Wallander, Popstars, The Sorrentinos, Pioneers, I Am Innocent, Where Are They Now? and 71 Degrees North.
Banijay Group and Zodiak Media have been in talks to merge for months, with Broadcast first reporting on the negotiations back in June. It’s worth noting that before the merger the two companies had an owner in common, with Italian company De Agostini holding shares in both Banijay and Zodiak.