Magazine article Screen International

ITV Buys Hatfields & McCoys Indie

Magazine article Screen International

ITV Buys Hatfields & McCoys Indie

Article excerpt

ITV has acquired its third American indie, paying $30m (£19m) for a controlling stake in Hatfields & McCoys producer Thinkfactory Media.

The broadcaster has bought a 65% of the US indie and has a "put and call option" to buy up the remainder of the company, which can be excercised after three years. Any further payments will be linked to the performance of the company.

LA-based Thinkfactory was founded by Leslie Greif and is known for creating programming in a wide-range of genres, from features and mini-series to unscripted series, docs and music specials.

The deal, brokered by About Corporate Finance, comes hot on the heels of other recent acquisitions for ITV, including last month's $25m (£16m) investment for a 60% stake of Cake Boss producer High Noon and April's acquisition of UK producer The Garden, for which it paid £18m in cash with an unstipulated further cash payment over the next five years.

In December, ITV acquired a 61.5% stake in fact-ent specialist Gurney Productions, the indie behind A&E's reality hit Duck Dynasty, for $40m (£24.5m).

This latest deal marks the first time ITVS has opted for a multi-genre producer in the US rather than a reality and entertainment specialist.

Hatfields & McCoys was a breakout hit for the History channel in the US, with over 17m viewers tuning in to the premiere. The Kevin Costner-fronted series is the highest-rated mini-series on cable since 1998 and spawned a two-hour documentary on the history of the Hatfields & McCoys, as well as an hour-long behind the scenes show. …

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