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Banijay acquires 7Wonder

Production and distribution giant Banijay Group has added UK unscripted firm 7Wonder to its portfolio of production companies.

Alexandra Fraser

7Wonder was launched in 2014 with backing from Australian broadcaster Seven Network. That relationship will conclude following today’s takeover by Banijay.

Alexandra Fraser, Liza Abbott and Simon Ellse founded the company and will continue to run the business as chief creative officer, CEO and chief financial officer respectively.

Banijay Rights will distribute the firm’s content moving forwards, a deal that will see more than 160 hours of programming added to its non-scripted slate.

The agreement marks the first UK non-scripted acquisition for the super-indie following a number of scripted additions over the last year.

Banijay backed drama start-up Neon Ink in January, opened a UK arm of Wallander producer Yellow Bird in October last year and launched Fearless Minds with producer Jolyon Symonds in July.

Those moves followed the formation of BlackLight Television with Phil Trethowan and Ben Bickerton last May.

Previous 7Wonder commissions include BBC2’s Back to the Land with Kate Humble, Sky Arts series Tate Britain’s Great British Walks, CBeebies preschool reality series Do You Know? and the UK adaptation of My Kitchen Rules for Channel 4, a hit format from the indie’s previous backer Seven.

7Wonder has bases in London and Birmingham in the UK and will work with fellow Banijay UK prodcos RDF and IWC Media, exploring opportunities for coproductions in the UK and around the global Banijay Group.

Fraser said: “We are absolutely delighted to be joining Banijay. With RDF and IWC, Banijay already enjoys a strong reputation for delivering high-quality factual programming in the UK, which we hope to build on, but we’re tremendously excited, too, by the international opportunities that will now open up to us.”

Peter Langenberg, COO of Banijay Group, added: “We are thrilled that 7Wonder are to become the first non-scripted acquisition for Banijay UK. Alex and the 7Wonder team have an excellent track record of creating and executing successful returnable formats and authentic factual programming; they will be the perfect complement to our existing non-scripted labels RDF and IWC, and we could not have hoped to have found a better addition to the Banijay family.”

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