Television Business International

BBCWW ups stake in War and Peace prodco

Scripted-logo-460_2War and PeaceBBC Worldwide now owns 49% of Lookout Point after buying up more of the War and Peace prodco.

The commercial arm of the UK pubcaster also has an option to take full control of the producer as part of the new deal.

Worldwide has been investing in indies, in turn securing it rights for the international market. It first inked a distribution deal with Lookout Point in 2010, and subsequently invested in the company, taking a 35% share. It has now upped that stake to 45%, with no financial details available.

Worldwide will continue to sell Lookout Point content internationally.

The prodco made BBC series War and Peace and Parade’s End, and BBC/Amazon show Ripper Street.

Upcoming projects include an adaptation of Les Misérables, which will be coproduced with BBC Studios for BBC One.

“The expanded stake that BBC Worldwide has now taken in the company gives Lookout Point further stability and commitment to progress our growth plans, whilst allowing us to retain our independence and entrepreneurial spirit,” Simon Vaughan, chairman and joint CEO of Lookout Point.

“Since Faith Penhale joined the company [from BBC Wales] as my joint-CEO in February, we have made a quantum leap forward and sincerely believe that the best is yet to come.”

Helen Jackson, BBC Worldwide’s chief content officer, said: “The drama genre now accounts for around half our investment and half our sales, and our appetite for high end scripted British content shows no sign of diminishing.

“Lookout Point has been part of the BBC Worldwide family for over five years now, and with its increasing focus on its own production capability, this is a logical progression of the close partnership we first forged in 2010.”

Worldwide is a standalone company from the licence fee funded BBC and said financial information relating to this and other indie investments are commercially confidential. It also said sales of indie-originated content accounted for nearly half of programme sales revenue last year.