The deal hands the production and distribution giant the option to acquire the remaining 495 shares in the future.
Founded in 2006 by SallyAnn Salsana, 495 is best known for creating reality hit Jersey Shore (pictured) for MTV, which was the network’s highest ever rating series. Spin-offs from the franchise include Snooki and JWOWW, The Show with Vinny and The Pauly D Project.
495 also produces Spike TV’s Tattoo Nightmares, which FremantleMedia International already distributes, and a variety of other unscripted cable series.
It will now sit alongside Original Productions in the unscripted prodco stable at FremantleMedia North America, FremantleMedia’s US arm.
“495 Productions is undeniably one of the US’s leading reality production companies with a unique approach to formatted character-driven reality shows which have proved compelling TV in the US and around the world,” said FremantleMedia CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz.
“This deal will allow us to expand our share of the valuable US cable market and will complement and diversify our existing portfolio of content and clients.”
FMNA CEO Thom Beers added the deal was a “key strategic acquisition” that meant the unit “now commands a best-in-class production slate across all family, male and female demos, and for network, cable and syndication platforms”.
Salsano pointed to long term relationships with Frot-Coutaz and Beers as a key reason for selling. “I started this company with nothing in 2006 and this is proof that if you love what you do, work your ass off and want it bad enough someone will notice and it will pay off,” she said.
Financial terms of the agreement were not revealed.