Production outfit claims 34% stake in TeleAllians
LONDON — Nordic production outfit Zodiak Television is continuing its expansion into Eastern Europe, buying a 34% stake in Russian production group TeleAllians.Based in Moscow, TeleAllians is one of Russia’s largest TV producers, with companies and brands including Dixi Film, Teleformat and Rytm. Last year it reported net sales of E11 million ($13.2 million) and a 40% increase in profits. Zodiak has an option to up its stake at a later date. Deal comes a month after the Copenhagen-based company acquired a 35% stake in Polish production company Zebra Media. “About a year ago we decided to pinpoint Russia and Poland as key territories to get established,” CEO Patrick Svensk said. “The competition is so fierce in Russia and audiences are really becoming quite sophisticated and demanding, so there is a great need for new, fresh primetime formats.” TeleAllians has already produced Russian versions of two Zodiak formats — “The Empire” for pubcaster Channel One, and “Fit for Family” for private net NTV. The company will continue to be headed by managing partners and exec producers Yefim Lyubinskiy and Alexander Levin, who was previously head of entertainment for NTV.