The BBC’s world sales arm, BBC Worldwide, has upped its stake in drama-show producer Lookout Point, whose credits include “War and Peace” and “Ripper Street,” to 49%. BBCW has the option of taking full ownership of the company.
BBCW and Lookout Point began their relationship in 2010 with a first-look distribution deal. This developed into a co-venture agreement for production financing and distribution, and BBCW then took a 35% equity stake in Lookout Point in 2014.
The increased stake will “enable BBC Worldwide to support Lookout Point in its next phase of development, as Lookout Point expands to produce and launch a number of new high-profile productions, continuing its evolution from co-producer and arranger of finance to global producer,” BBCW said in a statement.
Lookout Point’s chairman and joint CEO, Simon Vaughan, was joined by Faith Penhale as joint CEO earlier this year. Its 2016 productions include Mike Bartlett’s newspaper drama “Press,” co-produced with Nigel Stafford-Clark/Deep Indigo and BBC Studios for flagship channel BBC One; Davies’ upcoming adaptation of “Les Misérables,” co-produced with BBC Studios for BBC One; and Oliver Goldstick’s drama set in a post-war Paris fashion house, “The Collection,” for Amazon Prime and France Télévisions.
In addition, Lookout Point has been a co-producer on Sally Wainwright’s single film about the lives of the Brontë sisters, “To Walk Invisible,” also co-produced with BBC Studios for BBC One, and is a financier with BBC Cymru Wales on period mystery drama “The Living and the Dead” and with Sid Gentle Films on Len Deighton’s alternate history thriller adaptation “SS-GB,” both for BBC One.
Vaughan said: “The expanded stake that BBC Worldwide has now taken in the company gives Lookout Point further stability and commitment to progress our growth plans, whilst allowing us to retain our independence and entrepreneurial spirit. Over the years we have proven that working with BBC Worldwide together results in bigger and better projects. Since Faith Penhale joined the company as my joint CEO in February, we have made a quantum leap forward and sincerely believe that the best is yet to come.”
Helen Jackson, BBC Worldwide’s chief content officer, said: “The drama genre now accounts for around half our investment and half our sales, and our appetite for high-end scripted British content shows no sign of diminishing. Lookout Point has been part of the BBC Worldwide family for over five years now, and with its increasing focus on its own production capability, this is a logical progression of the close partnership we first forged in 2010. This is exciting news for creators and lovers of British drama across the world.”