Beta Film has bought more of Lineup Industries, the Amsterdam-based formats business formed by former Sony and Endemol execs and which counts “Long Lost Family,” and “The Bully Project” among its shows.
Germany’s Beta is known for its stable of international drama. The deal with Lineup gives it a much stronger foothold in the unscripted world through a tie-up with a well-regarded formats specialist. Lineup also sells finished unscripted shows such as “Emergency Call,” which has been just been renewed by C8 in France and Vox in Germany.
The company was founded by seasoned industry executives Ed Louwerse and Julian Curtis, both of whom were previously at Endemol and Sony Pictures Television where they helped launch shows such as “Deal or No Deal” and “Fear Factor” globally.
Louwerse told Variety the deal means closer links with Beta but Lineup will continue to operate autonomously. It also gives the company extra funding for content. “It means we can invest more, not just in acquiring the rights but also in IP that we think has potential, and in pilots and deficit funding if the opportunities are there,” he said.
Lineup’s Belgium-originated format “Taboo” is set for international success after Warner Bros.’ Wall to Wall optioned it in the U.K. and Kinetic Content took it for the U.S. It also recently did a deal with “Ninja Warrior” producer Eccholine to take its gameshow “Let the Games Begin” out internationally.
Beta initially took a small stake in 2016, and has now moved for a significant chunk of the business with further options to increase its holding. The Lineup founders remain the majority shareholders after the Beta deal, financial terms of which have not been disclosed.
“Ed and Julian have proven their excellent expertise in the format and light-entertainment market as well as their unfailing sense for hot-sellers,” said Moritz von Kruedener, managing director Beta Film. “With the extended investment, we underline our commitment to further establish ourselves as a distribution partner for all genres.”