Fremantle has struck a deal to acquire 12 production labels belonging to NENT Studios, including Moskito Television in Finland, Norway’s Strix TV and Baluba in Sweden.
The agreement comes 18 months since NENT first revealed it was looking to offload its unscripted production assets, with the process hampered by the pandemic.
The deal, which remains subject to regulatory clearances, will hand Fremantle ownership of Strong Productions in Denmark, as well as Norwegian outfits Monster, Novemberfilm, One Big Happy Family, event group Playroom, Rakett and Strix TV.
Swedish duo Baluba and Strix Television are also included, along with Grillifilms, Moskito Television and Production House in Finland. Branded entertainment outfit Splay One has already been sold to Swedish digital media firm Caybon.
The agreement is expected to close in Q2 or Q3 and will provide Fremantle with access to shows such as The Farm, which has already aired in 50 territories, as well as talent format The Ultimate Entertainer and music show The Stream.
Drawing a line
The deal draws a line under the protracted restructuring of NENT’s production assets and comes less than a month since the Viaplay streamer owner sold NENT Studios UK (fka DRG) to All3Media.
NENT overhauled its operations two years ago, moving its various production interests – which had once comprised 32 companies across 17 countries – into three units: NENT Studios Nordics & CEE; NENT Studios US; and NENT Studios UK.
With many of those assets now sold, the company’s remaining production interests will be focused solely on scripted to fuel Viaplay, which has already launched in CEE and is also expanding into the US in the coming months.
For Fremantle, the acquisitions provide a filip to its existing Nordic operations. It already produces in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland as Fremantle and through Miso Films, which has been behind The Investigation, The Rain and Those Who Kill. Its Blu label has delivered shows including local versions of X Factor and Farmer Seeking Love.
Jennifer Mullin, CEO at Fremantle, said: “This is an exciting opportunity both to grow our presence in the Nordics and embrace a wealth of exceptional new talent into the Fremantle family. Nordic IP is hugely successful internationally, and with our ability to amplify distribution on a global level, I am confident we will be able to take the great content produced by these labels to an even wider audience.”
Gabriel Catrina, NENT Group EVP & CFO, added: “We are confident that Fremantle’s global reach will create many opportunities for these fine businesses. This agreement concludes the divestments of all the Studios assets that we had planned for. Our remaining Studios assets will now focus primarily on delivering scripted content exclusively for Viaplay.”