Finance group buys Orphan Black producer

Orphan-BlackThe Toronto-based prodco behind BBC America sci-fi drama Orphan Black has been sold to a Canadian financial group.

Fairfax Financial Holdings has acquired a majority stake in Temple Street Productions for an undisclosed amount.

Among the plans for the new investment is for Temple Street to explore acquiring rival companies as it expands operations in content development, production and distribution.

Company co-presidents David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg and managing director John Young will continue to manage the strategic direction and day-to-day operations following the Fairfax investment.

Temple Street is best known for Orphan Black, which airs on Space in Canada and whose lead, Tatiana Maslany, received a Best Actress nomination for the upcoming Emmys.

BBC Worldwide sells Orphan Black internationally, but Temple Street is looking to become a “world class content creation and rights management company” going forwards.

The prodco also produces shows such as Syfy and Space coproduction Killjoys, CBC and SOAPnet’s Being Erica and Family Channel and Hulu’s The Next Step.

The founder, CEO and chairman of buyer Fairfax, Prem Watsa, has been described as “the Canadian Warren Buffet”. As of end-year 2014, his firm had an asset portfolio totaling C$36.1 billion (US$27.7 billion), mainly comprising insurance companies.

“We are thrilled to have Temple Street join the Fairfax group,” said Paul Rivett, president of Fairfax. “The company is a Canadian-based success story, and we look forward to being partners with David, Ivan and John and working with the entire Temple Street team to further grow the business over the long term.”

“This new capital will provide us with the platform from which to execute our ambitious growth plans, not only within Canada, but beyond our borders into the US and other international markets,” said Temple Street MD Young.

“We believe in our ability to create and produce world class content for all platforms, and we’re excited by the prospect of being able to scale our operations with Fairfax by our side.”