Courbit's company adds to growing portfolio

Stephane Courbit’s burgeoning pan-European powerhouse Banijay Entertainment has bought Scandi production house Nordisk Film TV.

The deal includes distribution arm Nordisk Film TV World and two part-owned subsids, Denmark’s Respirator Media and Development, a branded entertainment company, and Finnish production house Solar Television.

Deal price was not disclosed.

Launched last year, Banijay has bought part or all of nine international production companies as it seeks to become a global brand in TV and multimedia content creation and distribution.

Banijay’s NFTV buy is one of its highest-profile deals to date. Under CEO Jacob Houlind and chief creative officer Peter Hansen, who joined NFTV in early 2006, NFTV has doubled its revenues to E50 million ($74 million) a year via the purchase of stakes in other companies, the production of third-party formats and aggressive international sales.

Based in Copenhagen and with offices in Norway, Sweden and Finland, NFTV produces 1,500 hours of programming a year, ranging from entertainment to serial dramas, factual and reality shows. It created “71 Degrees North,” which was sold at April’s Mip TV mart in Cannes to Dave Broom’s 25/7 in a U.S. format deal, and “My Big Fat Parents,” a buzz title at last week’s Mipcom TV mart.

Banijay CEO Guillaume de Verges said his company is in negotiations to buy the U.K.’s Zig Zag Prods. A deal could be closed “not in months, but weeks,” he said.

Looking forward, Banijay will explore opportunities to bulwark its U.S. presence, where it already owns Angel City Factory, with a further company acquisition, De Verges said.

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