Zodiak Rights boss Tim Mutimer has landed the top distribution job at the soon-to-merge Banijay-Zodiak group, TBI has learned, with Banijay International boss Emmanuelle Namiech exiting.
Mutimer will helm the new rights arm of the unified Banijay Zodiak.
The merger, which was announced last year, is expected to formally close within days.
Namiech will exit, having been managing director of Banijay’s distribution arm, Banijay International.
She has been in that role since October 2014 when she took over from Karoline Spodsberg, who moved over to Banijay subsidiary Nordisk Film TV to become Nordic group COO.
Prior to Banijay she has been in a variety of senior international TV roles, including managing director of Target Entertainment, senior VP at FremantleMedia and director of acquisitions at ITV Studios.
Announcing the merger last July, Banijay said: “An extensive sales arm will handle worldwide rights distribution and licensing for both in-house and third party content.”
That rights unit, under Mutimer’s charge, will oversee content sales for the US$1 billion-revenue business, which will have numerous prodco brands in the group including Nordisk Film TV, Brainpool and H20 Productions on the Banijay side, and Yellow Bird, RDF Media, Mastiff and The Foundation from Zodiak.
Zodiak’s key scripted titles include Versailles, and it also has The Millennium: Trilogy and The Inbetweeners movies. It has a deep formats catalogue with Fort Boyard, Wife Swap, Hardcore Pawn and numerous other titles. Zodiak Kids, a separate division, has programming including Lolirock, Mister Maker and Waybuloo.
Key Banijay International formats include Opposite Worlds, Wonderkids, Beat the Star and Temptation Island.
Prior to joining Zodiak in January 2013, Mutimer was senior VP, sales, at BBC Worldwide, and has also worked at ITV.
The name of the new merged business is expected to be announced with the closing of the deal, and several further personnel changes are expected over the coming weeks.
The departure of Zodiak Media CEO Marc Antoine d’Halluin has already been confirmed with Banijay chief executive Marco Bassetti the chief executive of the merged company. Banijay founder Stéphane Courbit will be chairman.
Vivendi has also emerged as a key investor in the new group, and the French media giant will initially hold a 26% stake.
Both Banijay and Zodiak declined to comment on today’s news.