U.S. pay-cabler HBO and British ITV company Anglia TV are announcing a three-tier corporate partnership for international production and distribution.Anglia, the ITV station for east England, will acquire 49% of Citadel Pictures, HBO’s Los Angeles-based telefilm and miniseries production house. At the same time, HBO will acquire 49% of Itel, Anglia’s London-based international TV distribution subsid, whose chairman is film producer David Puttnam. In addition, HBO and Anglia will create a new 50/50 production joint venture in London, provisionally called Anglia TV Entertainment, which will absorb the ITV company’s existing drama arm, Anglia Films. Under the deal, Itel will handle international sales and co-prods for ATE, but Warner Intl. TV will continue to represent Citadel’s product. Anglia’s investment in Citadel and HBO’s in Itel are both priced at “less than $ 10 million,” per sources. Although there are no specific plans for the two production companies to work together, they will be in a position to exchange creative and business contacts and production expertise in their respective markets. For Itel, the deal will provide a broader financial base and access to a wider range of international partners. In the past three years, the company has become increasingly autonomous from its parent Anglia, developing its own production projects and striking distribution deals with U.S. companies such as National Geographic and Viacom’s Showtime pay cable service.
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