Zeppelin gives Endemol Latin America passport

AMSTERDAM — Endemol Entertainment laid the groundwork for its entrance into Latin America with the acquisition of a 45% share in Zeppelin, a Madrid-based TV production company.

Endemol already owns a 60% share of Barcelona-based TV production company Gestmusic-Endemol. The deal with Zeppelin effectively makes Endemol the largest indie TV producer in Spain.

It also gives the Dutch-based company an important link to Latin America, a territory Endemol has been trying to break into for several years with sales of its formats.

Matthew Ody, exec VP, international sales, for Endemol, told Daily Variety the two companies will operate internationally as one under the Endemol umbrella, with first productions for Latin America expected out by year’s end. At least one of the productions is believed to be heading for Argentina.

Zeppelin is a top drama and comedy producer churning out such programs as daily soap “El Super,” hidden camera show “Inocente, Inocente” and the comedy “Los Canete” for channels such as commercial outlet Tele 5, national broadcaster TVE, regional channels Telemadrid, Canal Sur and Canal 9. With Gestmusic’s reputation for entertainment programs, “the two companies complement each other perfectly,” said Ody, and would be working closely in areas such as program development and format acquisition.

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