Will ITV take on Weinstein's TV production?
ITV's share price rose immediately when it was reported that it was close to acquiring The Weinstein Company's television arm for an ultimate figure close to £600m.
The acquisition would be a further milestone in the company's strategy of building an international content business that creates and owns entertainment formats and dramas that sell internationally.
Buying the Weinstein business would not be the first step towards this long term goal. ITV also bought John de Mol's Talpa in March. The Netherlands based production and distribution business has created 75 shows airing in more than 180 countries over the past six years, with 16 new formats broadcast last year alone. The purchase significantly strengthened ITV's position as a leading producer in Europe. Owning Weinstein's TV business could do the same for ITV in the US.
The TV production arm, owned by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, recently produced the series Marco Polo for Netflix, and is currently working on an adaptation of War and Peace for the BBC.
ITV itself refused to comment. However, it is expected that if a buyout indeed will take place a sum of around £240m will be paid initially with further payments dependent on the company's future. The total maximum sum is estimated to be around £600m.
ITV's film production arm, ITV Studios, already makes shows for ITV and other channels, which are sold around the globe. Its portfolio includes 24 Hours in A&E, Poldark and Come Dine With Me.
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