It is understood that Sony has beaten off a number of potential buyers for U.K.-based Eleven, whose standing has been buoyed internationally by the success of Netflix hit “Sex Education.”
Sony is said to be close to taking a significant stake in Eleven, and will reportedly buy out Channel 4’s 20% holding in the company. At this stage, it is unclear if Sony is taking a minority or controlling stake in Eleven. Channel 4 invested in Eleven back in 2014 as part of its Indie Growth Fund initiative.
Eleven was founded by creative directors Jamie Campbell and Joel Wilson in 2006. Its credits also include Channel 4 and Hulu drama “Gap Year,” Sky’s “The Enfield Haunting” and E4’s “Glue,” written by Jack Thorne.
Upcoming productions include series three of “Sex Education,” which has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, and BBC Three horror “Red Rose,” which Netflix took U.S. and international rights to in February. Eleven is also making political thriller “White Stork” for Netflix, starring Tom Hiddleston, and directed by Kristoffer Nyholm.
Sony’s international TV arm has been on a buying spree in recent months. Earlier this year, Sony Pictures Television bought out Channel 4’s minority stake in sports producer Whisper Group, which the broadcaster also held through its Indie Growth Fund. Sony also acquired “Octonauts” producer Silvergate Media in December.
Sony declined to comment.
The story was first reported by Deadline.