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Beyond acquires Seven Studios

Australian production and distribution group Beyond International has acquired Seven Studios UK in London and purchased Seven West Media’s shares in 7Beyond in Los Angeles.

Damon Pattison

The acquisition of Seven Studios was facilitated through Beyond Entertainment, the group’s wholly owned Irish subsidiary, which earlier this summer acquired UK distributor TCB Media Rights out of the wreckage of Canada’s Kew Media.

Beyond has also acquired the remaining 50.98% of the share capital of 7Beyond that it did not previously own from Seven Network, giving it 100% ownership of 7Beyond.

Both businesses will eventually be re-branded as Beyond Productions and will report into John Luscombe, Beyond Productions’ general manager and exec VP.

Seven Studios UK, headed by Damon Pattison, is currently producing an 8×60’ primetime adaptation of Pooch Perfect for BBC1. The format has already been produced for the Seven Network in Australia, with other versions in advanced development.

The team was also recently commissioned to film a two-part pilot series of My Lottery Dream Home International, a 7Beyond original format, for US cablenet HGTV.

Beyond has acquired international format and finished programme distribution rights to Pooch Perfect, including the UK and Australian versions.

The 7Beyond LA-based joint venture, established in November 2013, is currently in production on season 11 of its breakout hit My Lottery Dream Home for HGTV.

Its other credits include Tiny Food Fight (Facebook Watch), Holiday Gingerbread Showdown (Food Network) and Hip Hop Houdini (Fuse).

Mikael Borglund

Mikael Borglund, CEO and MD of Beyond International, said: “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 enable 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 deal: “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.”

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