Australia’s Seven buys UK drama prodco

Scripted-logo-460_2Simon Crawford CollinsAustralian commercial broadcaster Seven Network has acquired a stake in British production company Slim Film + Television.

The “major” shareholding expands Seven’s growing international production ranks. It already has a joint ventures in the UK, 7Wonder, and the US, 7Beyond, though these are primarily focused on unscripted and Slim hands the network a foothold in high-end international scripted content.

Former Kudos (Spooks, Humans) joint managing director Simon Crawford Collins (pictured) created Slim in 2011. The prodco has gone on to produce shows such as BBC One drama Legacy and comedy The Art of Foley. It is currently working on shows for the likes of AMC in the US.

The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, means BBC Worldwide, which has had a 25% stake in Slim since its creation, will exit the business.

The BBC’s commercial arm has made eight investments in UK indies in the past twelve months, including spends in 72 Films, House Productions and, today, Two Cities Television. Slim will no longer be an interest, however.

“Slim is embarking on an exciting new phase in its growth and, after considering a number of offers, we believe that Seven are the perfect creative partners to support us in our future ambitions,” said Crawford Collins, Slim’s managing director.

“They are not only an exceptionally inspirational group, market leaders in their territory and have massive global aspirations, [but] they also have boundless energy and a great sense of fun.”

Tim Worner, CEO of Seven parent Seven West Media, said: “Seven is committed to growing its international production footprint and we want to do that with the very best people.

“Simon’s track record speaks for itself, and audiences in Australia, and in fact all over the world, have loved the shows he has already been involved with. He is now attracting some brilliant writers to Slim, and together we believe we will create more outstanding work to take to audiences everywhere.”

Seven’s director of content distribution and rights, Therese Hegarty, saif the deal “further confirms Seven’s leadership in the creation and production of highly successful programming, including original titles such as Home and Away, My Kitchen Rules, Border Security, A Place to Call Home, House Rules and Packed to the Rafters”.