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Banijay Acquires French Drama Producer Terence Films (EXCLUSIVE)

Banijay Group has taken control of Terence Films, the French drama outfit behind TF1 and Amazon series “Les Innocents,” and “Fortunes” for Arte and France 2, among others.

Banijay is currently in advanced talks to acquire Endemol Shine Group and considered a frontrunner for the production and distribution giant. Meanwhile, it is continuing to expand the roster of production companies in the group with the deal for a majority stake in Terence Films.

Banijay’s distribution arm sells the English-language France-set period drama “Versailles” and Nordic drama “Occupied.” It recently launched Banijay Studios Italy to focus on drama. The latest M&A deal ups its profile in French drama production.

Terence Films was founded in 2005 by Stephane Meunier (pictured, right) and Bertrand Cohen (left). Meunier started out in journalism and documentaries before moving into scripted over a decade ago. Cohen started in the marketing department of TF1, France’s largest commercial broadcaster, and went on to work for various French producers.

“As we continue to grow our scripted footprint worldwide, we are seeking to partner with leading storytellers who have a proven track-record for delivering mainstream content,” said Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti. “We look forward to collaborating with Meunier and Cohen to develop a raft of new drama for the local and global market.”

Meunier said becoming part of Banijay makes sense as a global market grows for what was once regarded as local drama – increasingly non-English-language scripted TV is popular in international markets.

“Invested in storytelling, creativity, entertainment and importantly, distribution, [Banijay Group] provides the perfect home for Terence Films, taking us from a French drama specialist to a potential worldwide supplier,” he said.

Cohen added that Banijay offers Terence Films access to the international markets and copros. “The company shares our passion for crafting strong narratives for broad audiences and we look forward to reinforcing opportunities of creation with coproduction,” he said.

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