Beyond International, the Australian content businesses, has expanded its international production capabilities to the UK by acquiring Seven Studios UK (SSUK) from Seven West Media Ltd (SWM).
The acquisition was facilitated through Beyond Entertainment Ltd (BEL), BYI’s wholly-owned Irish subsidiary.
BEL has also acquired the remaining 50.98 per cent of the share capital of 7Beyond Media Rights Limited (7Beyond) that it did not previously own from Seven Network (Operations) Limited (Seven), giving BEL 100 per cent ownership of 7Beyond. Both businesses will eventually be re-branded as Beyond Productions and will report into John Luscombe, Beyond Productions’ GM and EVP.
Mikael Borglund, CEO and MD of Beyond International, commented: “This is an exciting time for Beyond. We have already expanded our distribution business this year with the acquisition of TCB Media Rights and its extensive catalogue, and now we are adding to and strengthening our production capabilities in two of the world’s creative centres. We have an excellent relationship with Seven going back to 1984 with the production of the long-running science/technology series “Beyond 2000” for the Network. We are pleased to be able to conclude these transactions with Seven which enables Beyond to enter the UK market with an established production company and respected team, and to expand our production capacity in the United States.”
Seven West Media CEO James Warburton said of the divestment: “As part of our ongoing transformation, we’ve reassessed our appetite for investment in offshore production interests and have elected to divest Seven Studios UK and our interest in the 7Beyond JV. Our longstanding relationship with Beyond International makes them a natural partner to acquire these assets. As part of the divestment, Seven will retain a participation in current projects, as well as all onshore production interests. Seven is proud of these two businesses and the projects that came out of them and welcomes the strengthened business arrangement that will continue with Beyond in the future.”
Luscomb aded: “We are excited to expand our current creative relationship with Damon and his team and look forward to developing fresh entertainment and factual content for both UK and global markets. With TCB’s strong producer relationships in the UK and this latest acquisition of SSUK, we are now in an enviable position to not only grow our business in Europe but also to increase the depth of our current development and production capacity based in the US and Australia. Having three strong Beyond hubs will also allow us to expedite productions and share resources as Covid restrictions start to ease in different locations.”
Beyond Productions was established in Australia in 1984 and has produced in excess of 5000 hours of global television programming, including major long-running non-scripted hits such as MythBusters, Love It or List It Australia, Deadly Women and Selling Houses Australia. Beyond is also known for scripted titles such as Pulse for the ABC, and Halifax Retribution, produced for Nine Network and starring Rebecca Gibney and Anthony La Paglia, as well as for its children’s content which includes Beat Bugs and Motown Magic for Netflix.