ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), a division of ViacomCBS, has announced the acquisition of Ananey Communications Group, an Israeli content producer and pay-TV channel provider. VCNI is acquiring the shares in Ananey it does not already own, following its acquisition of a minority stake in the company in December 2016.
Ananey’s founder and Chairman, Udi Miron, will stay on in a new role as special advisor to Ananey and will also act as General Partner of a newly formed venture capital fund, Gazella – New Media Experience, that he and VCNI will jointly invest in. The fund will focus its investment in Israeli media and technology related businesses.
As a result of the deal, Ananey will now be consolidated into VCNI, with its Chief Executive Officer, Orly Atlas-Katz reporting to Maria Kyriacou, President of VCNI’s operations across Australia, Israel and the UK.
David Lynn, President and CEO at VCNI, commented: “This deal is a logical next step to cement and enhance the long-standing and valuable partnership we have with Ananey and to secure and scale our position in the Israeli market. Ananey is a well-established and successful producer of local and global content and it is a strong fit with the rest of our international networks and studios business. I’m excited by the potential to scale its ideas and formats, to exploit its content pipeline and library and to tap into its production expertise for our TV networks and streaming services in other territories.”
Orly Atlas-Katz added: “This is an exciting day for me personally, but even more so professionally, as one who represents a large group of individuals dedicated to the production of high-quality content and first-rate productions. I am proud that ViacomCBS has acknowledged this talent, and thrilled at the prospect of deepening this partnership and becoming an official part of a wonderful family, home to some of the most successful shows and formats in the world. This a vote of confidence on behalf of ViacomCBS, not only in us as a company, but also in Israeli content and creators. I’m positive that this a giant step forward for the local market and a boost to its ability to distribute content outside Israeli borders.”
Udi Miron added: “We’ve been working for a long time to expand Ananey’s horizons beyond the Israeli market and have made good progress in building an international business – becoming part of ViacomCBS will now accelerate our efforts to establish Ananey as a globally significant player in the international content market. This acquisition is recognition of Ananey’s entrepreneurship and creative capacities, together with its ability to assist VCNI in the development of international productions and technology-based content. The ‘Gazella – New Media Experience’ fund will bring fresh investment to the Israeli market, specifically to companies using technology to create new forms of content. As for myself, the role as General Partner in this new fund marks the next step in my long and fascinating journey through the Israeli field of broadcast and production.”
Ananey Communications is a long-standing commercial partner for VCNI in Israel, where it owns and operates six local pay TV channels for which it produces a broad range of youth, children’s, lifestyle and entertainment content. Ananey also manages and operates under license local versions of VCNI’s flagship pay TV brands, including MTV, Comedy Central, Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon, as well as representing an additional seven VCNI channels for affiliate sales in Israel. As well as producing content for its own and VCNI’s channels in Israel, Ananey also produces for third parties both in Israel and internationally. Its hit teen drama, Greenhouse Academy, has been renewed for a fourth global season on Netflix.