London– Sony Pictures Television is in talks to buy U.K. production shingle Left Bank Pictures, according to press reports in Blighty.
Neither side would comment on the speculation but insiders believe the acquisition, worth more than £40 million ($62 million), is likely to be sealed in the next few weeks.
Left Bank put itself up for sale in April, following BBC Worldwide’s decision to sell its 25% stake, with About Corporate Finance handling the sale. Other suitors are thought to have included Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1’s Red Arrow Entertainment and the U.K.’s ITV Studios.
The company, headed by Andy Harries and Marigo Kehoe, produces features, such as “The Queen,” and high-budget miniseries, including Kenneth Branagh starrer “Wallander.” Recent features include “The Lady,” a biopic about Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, starring Michelle Yeoh. It also produces action series “Strike Back” for U.K. satcaster BSkyB and Cinemax-HBO in the U.S. The company is developing a six-part Nelson Mandela biopic, which has the working title “Madiba.”
Former Lifetime chief exec and prexy Andrea Wong, who joined SPT in September as prexy of international production, based in London, wants to add to the company’s U.K. production portfolio, with a particular focus on scripted fare.
In March, SPT bought Daisy Goodwin’s Silver River Prods. It already owns U.K. shingles, Gogglebox and Victory Television.
“The U.K. is a critical market, and SPT needs to be stronger here,” Wong said in March. “The earlier round of consolidation means a lot of the key players have already been acquired, and finding the right companies is a challenge — but you’ll see us be aggressive.”