Television Business International

FremantleMedia hires M&A expert from NBCU

FremantleMedia is gearing up for international acquisition activity with the hire of an M&A specialist from NBCUniversal.

Cecile_Frot-CoutazJulian Tomkins is joining the X Factor producer in a new role as director of strategy and mergers and acquisitions with immediate effect, based in London and reporting directly to FremantleMedia CEO Celine Frot-Coutaz (left).

Tomkins comes across from NBCU, where he has worked for seven years, most recently as senior VP, international business development, a role that gave him responsibility for strategic planning and M&A activity outside the US. During his spell at NBCU, the oversaw the acquisition of UK drama prodco Carnival Films and the Hallmark TV channels.

Before that, he spent a decade as an investment banker specialising in M&A and capital markets.

Frot-Coutaz said: “Julian’s extensive knowledge of content creation and the digital arena together with his strong track record in new business development and M&A will be a real asset as we look at all the options to grow FremantleMedia.”

He will work alongside FremantleMedia’s senior management team to identify new growth areas and strategic opportunities, particularly focussing on the RTL-owned company’s core content production and distribution businesses.

The move is Frot-Coutaz’s latest step in building a new FremantleMedia structure. Earlier this year, she did away with commercial arm FremantleMedia Enterprises in place of new FremantleMedia International and FremantleMedia Digital arms, leading to the departure of Enterprises CEO David Ellender.

Keith Hindle now heads digital activities, which restructured further this month and is one area Tomkins has likely been drafted in to explore M&A possibilities in.

Frot-Coutaz also hired Lee Rierson has COO of FremantleMedia North America and Diane Buddingh as director of global entertainment.