Saban stakes out Talit

Mogul buys into Israel-based TV producer/distrib outfit

JERUSALEM — Media mogul Haim Saban has acquired an undisclosed stake in Israeli television production and distribution outfit Talit Communications from long-time friend and former business associate Yehuda Talit.

“We are looking forward to fruitful cooperation and see the investment as the closing of a circle of long years of friendship and a 12-year-long partnership that ended in 1973,” Saban said in a statement.

Tel Aviv-based Talit is a major player in the Israeli television scene producing original television shows for domestic consumption as well as representing foreign channels such as Fashion Television (FTV), Francocaster TV5 and music channel Mezzo in Israel.

The acquisition is the Israeli-American entrepreneur’s first major investment in the Israeli media sector. Last year, his Saban Capital Group and Roy Disney’s Shamrock Holdings put in a joint bid for a controlling stake in Israel’s national telecommunications company Bezeq but later withdrew it.

Announcement of the Talit purchase comes against the backdrop of a looming acquisition battle for the U.K.’s largest commercial network ITV for which Saban has declared he may be a contender.