Banijay takes full control of Beyond International after completing acquisition

Highway Thru Hell

Banijay has taken full control of Beyond International, after completing its deal for the Australia-based producer and distributor.

The acquisition hands Banijay more than 8,000 hours of programming such as Highway Thru Hell and MythBusters, as well as Back In The Groove outfit, Beyond Productions, with the French firm confirming it has now started integrating the company.

Beyond shareholders will receive A$0.77 ($0.51) cash per share, a 57% premium on its monthly average in September.

The acquisition expands 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 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 – has seen its shares cease to be publicly traded.

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.

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