Magazine article Screen International

Global Boost for Left Bank in [Pounds]40m SPT Deal

Magazine article Screen International

Global Boost for Left Bank in [Pounds]40m SPT Deal

Article excerpt

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) plans to turn Left Bank Pictures into a global scripted powerhouse; SPT will be first in line to sell the indie's future feature films.

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) plans to turn Left Bank Pictures into a global scripted powerhouse after sealing a £40m takeover of the Strike Back indie, whose feature credits include The Lady and The Damned United.

SPT has taken a majority stake in Left Bank for a double-digit multiple of the company's £4m EBITDA forecast for 2012.

Left Bank chief executive Andy Harries said it would enable the company to accelerate its international production strategy, which last year saw it seal a major US co-production to make SAS drama Strike Back for Sky 1 and HBO.

"The expansion of the world TV market is intoxicating," he said. "The ability to make big-budget shows is there if you work hard."

The former ITV Studios drama boss and his business partner Marigo Kehoe will travel to the US in September to discuss opportunities with SPT's local drama producers and key creatives such as The Shield showrunner Shawn Ryan. SPT's dramas include Breaking Bad and Damages.

Andrea Wong, SPT's president of international production, said doors will also be opened to Left Bank in Russia and the Middle East.

She added that the takeover was "not the final piece in the jigsaw" and the company will continue to add to its other UK production assets: Gogglebox, Victory Television and Silver River.

The Left Bank deal, revealed by Broadcast last month, is SPT's biggest in the UK so far. …

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