ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has acquired Israeli content producer and pay-TV channel provider Ananey Communications Group.
VCNI is acquiring the shares in Ananey it does not already own, following its acquisition of a minority stake in the company in December 2016.
Ananey’s founder and chairman, Udi Miron, will stay on in a new role as special advisor to Ananey and will also act as general partner of a newly formed venture capital fund, Gazella – New Media Experience, that he and VCNI will jointly invest in. The fund will focus its investment in Israeli media and technology-related businesses.
Ananey will now be consolidated into VCNI, with its chief CEO Orly Atlas-Katz reporting to Maria Kyriacou, president of VCNI’s operations across Australia, Israel and the U.K.
Ananey Communications is a long-standing commercial partner for VCNI in Israel, where it owns and operates six local pay-TV channels for which it produces youth, children’s, lifestyle and entertainment content.
Ananey also manages under license local versions of VCNI’s pay-TV brands, including MTV, Comedy Central, Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon, as well as representing an additional seven VCNI channels for affiliate sales in Israel.
Ananey also produces for third parties both in Israel and internationally. Its teen drama, “Greenhouse Academy,” has been renewed for a fourth global season on Netflix.
David Lynn, president and CEO of VCNI, said: “Ananey is a well established and successful producer of local and global content and it is a strong fit with the rest of our international networks and studios business. I’m excited by the potential to scale its ideas and formats, to exploit its content pipeline and library and to tap into its production expertise for our TV networks and streaming services in other territories.”
Atlas-Katz added: “This is a vote of confidence on behalf of ViacomCBS, not only in us as a company, but also in Israeli content and creators.”
Miron added: “We’ve been working for a long time to expand Ananey’s horizons beyond the Israeli market and have made good progress in building an international business — becoming part of ViacomCBS will now accelerate our efforts to establish Ananey as a globally significant player in the international content market.”