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ITV Studios takes Cattleya majority

Gomorrah was based on Roberto Saviano’s book of the same name

UK production giant ITV Studios (ITVS) has bought a majority stake in Italian indie Cattleya, the prodco behind hit organised crime drama Gomorrah.

The investment reflects ITVS’s continued expansion into international drama to meet increasing demand for European series.

Under the deal, the Rome-based company will retain full creative and production autonomy, with ITVS subsidiary ITVS Global Entertainment distributing the company’s TV series where rights are available.

Cattleya was launched in 1997 by Riccardo Tozzi, who now runs it alongside president and co-CEO Giovanni Stabilini and co-CEO Marco Chimenz.

While it has produced more than 70 feature films, it has focused more on TV production of late, which is forecast to generate around two-thirds of its revenue by 2019.

Along with Sky Italy series Gomorrah, the forthcoming third season of which has been sold to more than 70 countries, Cattleya has coproduced crime thriller Suburra, Netflix’s first Italian original series, which focuses on politics, religion and organised crime in modern-day Rome.

It is also behind fellow crime drama Romanzo Criminale, and recently snapped up an English-language commission, with several more in the pipeline.

ITVS’s acquisition follows investment in Sweden’s Elk Production and French drama producer Tetra Media Studios, in addition to its existing scripted businesses in the Nordics and Germany.

Maria Kyriacou, president of ITV Studios International, said Cattleya had established an “enviable reputation as first-class drama producers” and built strong global relationships to develop “ambitious projects which appeal to audiences everywhere.”

She added: “This, coupled with our confidence that the demand for high-end European drama will continue to grow, makes Cattleya a perfect partner for ITV Studios as we continue with our strategy to build an international scripted business.”

Tozzi said: “We are thrilled to join ITV Studios. Its strategy of investing in European and international high-profile production companies and TV content is perfectly in line with the ever-growing demand for high-end drama series.

“It also corresponds to the direction in which Cattleya has been headed over the last several years, to create scripted drama that will present the best of Italian and European talent to the world.”

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