FremantleMedia buys Beyond stake

Australian company to open L.A. office

LONDON — FremantleMedia, the content business owned by RTL Group, has beefed up its presence in Australia with the acquisition of a 19.99% stake in shingle Beyond International for an undisclosed sum.

Beyond International, in the throes of opening an office in Los Angeles, makes TV fare such as “What’s Good for You,” “Beyond Tomorrow,” “Mythbusters,” “Wildlife with Olivia Newton John” and miniseries “Day of the Roses.”

Its movie interests have included “Strictly Ballroom,” “A Good Woman,” “Chopper” and “Lantana.”

Christian Schneider-Sickert, FremantleMedia’s director of operations and strategy, said: “The U.S. and Australia are of crucial importance for FremantleMedia and Beyond has great strengths in both markets.

“We announced last year that we were looking to make a series of growth-oriented investments, and Beyond is part of that strategy.”

Headquartered in Sydney, Beyond has offices in San Francisco and Bethesda, Maryland and is run by managing director Mikael Borglund.

FreemantleMedia already owns Grundy Television, which produces seasoned teen soap “Neighbours,” and comedy specialist Crackerjack in Oz.

Overall the company runs production outfits in more than 20 territories including FremantleMedia North America and Talkback Thames in Blighty.