Banijay to acquire ‘Mythbusters’ & ‘Back In The Groove’ firm Beyond International


Banijay is to buy Australia-based Beyond International, handing it more than 8,000 hours of programming such as MythBusters, as well as Back In The Groove outfit, Beyond Productions.

The deal, which is subject to shareholder and court approval, is set to be closed in the next three months and will see Beyond shareholders receiving A$0.77 ($0.51) cash per share, a 57% premium on its monthly average in September.

The acquisition will expand Banijay’s existing 130,000-hour catalogue with predominantly unscripted IP from Beyond, including Highway Thru Hell, Heavy Rescue: 401, Massive Engineering Mistakes, MythBusters and Deadly Women.

It will also extend its Australia-based creative operations via Beyond Productions, whose latest titles include Love It Or List It Australia and aforementioned Back In The Groove, a new dating series for Hulu, produced with Walt Disney Television Alternative.

Mikael Borglund

The production division also has a number of yet-to-be-announced new series in production across English-speaking markets.

Beyond International’s MD and CEO, Mikael Borglund, remains in his current role but the distributor and producer – which was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1987 and is being acquired via a Scheme Implementation Deed – will see its shares cease to be publicly traded once the deal is completed.

Beyond evolution

The deal comes two years since Beyond, which is also behind scripted series such as Halifax: Retribution, acquired TCB Media Rights following the collapse of its previous owner, Kew Media Group.

Former Twentieth Century Fox exec David Smyth was installed as CEO of distribution arm Beyond Rights last year, as revealed by TBI.

Banijay, meanwhile, became a public company earlier this year after owner Stéphane Courbit rolled the MasterChef and Big Brother production and distribution outfit into FL Entertainment, which also houses the media mogul’s online gambling firm Betclic.

It has been steadily expanding its production capacity over the past year too, acquiring Sony Pictures Television Germany in July and Romulus producer Grøenlandia Group in March. It has also added 30 Coins producer Pokeepsie Films to its labels, as well Kindle Entertainment in the UK and Italy’s Movimenti Production last month.

Marco Bassetti, CEO at Banijay, said: “As content demand continues to soar, catalogue remains key, and in acquiring Beyond, we would take our offering up considerably. Primarily bolstering our IP and production portfolio in the English-language and factual space, with Beyond’s complementary content, the deal can enhance our position as a leading go-to for clients and commercial partners alike.”

Mikael Borglund, MD & CEO at Beyond International, added: “The Beyond Board is very much supportive of the deal, which will see us join Banijay’s group, bolstering its standing in what is an increasingly competitive market. Joining a leading global business like this is a very exciting opportunity for us and we look forward to collaborating on newfound opportunities ahead.”

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