European production and distribution giant Fremantle is looking to expand into Latin America and India, with “organic growth” and acquisitions on the cards.
Fremantle CEO Jennifer Mullin, talking on a MIPCOM keynote, said the company was on track to hit the €3bn annual revenue target by 2025, which was set by parent RTL Group last year, but added that further deals were being explored.
She swerved answering whether the company is looking at picking up ITV Studios, which parent ITV is reportedly looking at selling, but said further acquisitions – particularly in aforementioned Lat Am and India – are being explored.
The company has already had a busy – and costly – 18 months that has seen it reach deep in its pockets to pick up a raft of European producers, including UK-based Element Pictures (Normal People) and Dancing Ledge (The Responder).
It has also bought Italian scripted production company Lux Vide (Devils, Leonardo), international development and production company Fabel (Bosch), Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance) and UK unscripted production company Label1 (Hospital, Five Guys a Week, Soldier), as well as 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group (This is Nice Group).
Mullin said the company was “not buying revenue” but said it was implementing capital to achieve its “significant growth plans.”
“To do that, we need to scale up across all parts of our business and we’ve also made a concerted look for creatives and businesses that feel like a good fit and are complimentary with their content.”
Fremantle’s Group COO, and Continental Europe CEO, Andrea Scrosati, added that while the company had bought widely, it had passed on “probably ten” firms for each completed acquisition.
Scrosati also talked up Fremantle as a place for creatives, pointing to the recent Angelina Jolie deal, which will see the actor and producer working on series, but also docs and movies.
“There has to be added value for us and them [producers],” Scrosati added. “The only way for that to happen is creative exchange and creatively challenging ourselves and then having a cultural to fit. Otherwise it is just a financial transaction and frankly I don’t believe in that in this sector, it is about creative vision.”