Australian-listed producer and distributor Beyond has taken a 10% stake in UK-listed TV investment company Motive. With the cash in hand Motive is now going to acquire a UK drama producer with four possible deals being lined up, chairman and company founder Mick Pilsworth told TBIvision.
Motive has invested in a range of UK-based producers since its inception in 2005 and specialises in funding start-ups or small indies. It has taken interests in Brown Eyed Boy, Scarlet TV among others. Each has distribution deals in place, but Beyond is expected to become the preferred programme sales house for the Motive companies when these deals expire. Pilsworth said that he hopes the Beyond deal will help Motive companies get their content into the US and Australia.
Beyond, meanwhile, has been trying to get a foothold in the UK and was interested in UK indie Wall to Wall, which was actually acquired by Shed for £25m late last year. The Motive deal came about after a meeting at MIP TV last month.
"I’ve known Mikael [Borglund, Beyond managing director], since the beginning of the Beyond and we have talked about various deals," Pilsworth says. "They had been trying to do a deal in the UK and we thought we could be their eyes and ears in London."
Motive will now finalise a deal for a UK drama company. The company is looking at a range of possible deals. "We’re trying not to have too much overlap with our companies, but we’re not in drama at all and would like to have a drama company," Pilsworth says. "There are four we are looking at, ranging from companies that have been going for a while or are moving into TV drama to web-based start-up producers."