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ITV Takes 65% Stake in ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ Producer

Thinkfactory Media deal worth $30 million

LONDON — ITV has acquired a controlling stake in U.S. shingle Thinkfactory Media, which produces shows such as Kevin Costner starrer “Hatfields & McCoys.”

The acquisition, which sees another significant step in ITV’s strategy for building an international content business, sees ITV pay $30 million for a 65% stake in Thinkfactory Media, with a put and call option to buy the remaining 35% of the company.

The put and call option can be exercised from between three years after the initial deal and at the end of year five, with the total amount paid linked to the performance of the company over that period.

Thinkfactory marks yet another U.S. acquisition for ITV: In May, it bought a controlling stake in U.S. reality producers High Noon Entertainment for $39 million and in December, it acquired 61.5% of U.S. shingle Gurney Prods., best known for “Duck Dynasty.”

And the outfit continues to beef up its ITV Studios America.

L.A.-based Thinkfactory Media was founded in 1992 by Hollywood producer Leslie Greif. Its portfolio includes reality and entertainment shows such as “R&B Divas,” “Preachers’ Daughters,” “Marriage Bootcamp: Bridezillas” and “The Hook Up” as well as a new drama series “Texas Rangers” for the History Channel, which also aired “Hatfields & McCoys.”

“We’re gathering real momentum in building a substantial U.S. presence, which is central to our strategy of creating a strong international content business,” said ITV chief exec Adam Crozier. “The acquisition of Thinkfactory Media is clearly a further significant step forward in achieving that goal.”

Greif said: “While retaining the independent spirit that keeps Thinkfactory Media creative, this relationship not only allows us to continue producing top-quality scripted and unscripted content, but enhances the potential for global distribution and our continued success in the marketplace.”

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