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Fremantle buys majority stake in Silvio Productions in producer acquisition spree

L-R: Mika Timor, Yotam Guendelman, Andrea Scrosati and Guy Hameiri

Production and distribution group Fremantle has continued its documentary prodco buying spree by taking a majority stake in Israeli outfit Silvio Productions (fka EGG Films).

The producer, founded by Israel-based director/writer/producers Yotam Guendelman and Mika Timor, has been behind documentary series Shadow of Truth, Coastal Road Killer, After Midnight, The Baby Daddy and Buried.

The deal was spearheaded by Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle’s group chief operating officer and CEO for continental Europe, and Guy Hameiri, co-founder of Abot Hameiri, the Fremantle-owned Israeli production company.

Guendelman and Timor will collaborate with Abot Hameiri in Israel as well as benefitting from Fremantle’s global infrastructure, international distribution and strategic support across the 27 territories in which it operates.

Hameiri will take the position of chairman of Silvio Productions, with Guendelman and Timor reporting to him.

Fremantle’s investment in Silvio Productions, financial details of which were not disclosed, comes a week after it acquired 51% majority stake in UK factual production company Wildstar Films as Fremantle grows its roster of documentary producers.

It has been a year of frenetic M&A activity for Fremantle, including the acquisitions of UK production company Dancing Ledge, Italy’s Lux Vide, Australian-US company Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance, Finding Magic Mike), Irish production company Element Pictures and, most recently, documentary producer 72 Films.

Last year it acquired 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group, while it also holds a minority stake in international development and production company Fabel (Bosch).

Fremantle has grown from owning 34 production companies in 2019 to having more than 50 in its portfolio in 2022. This came after Fremantle owner RTL Group set targets in August 2021 to increase its subsidiary’s full-year revenue to €3bn (US$3.1bn) by 2025.

Last month at Mipcom, Scrosati spoke about the strategy and revealed Latin America and India are among the markets it is looking to expand into, while denying that doing deals to acquire production companies is a way to buy revenue.

Scrosati said today: “Fremantle is committed to working with the very best talent and creative minds in the business. Yotam and Mika and the team at Silvio Productions have a proven track record and take great pride in their filmmaking and storytelling. We welcome them into the Fremantle family at this important time, as we look to scale-up our global documentary capabilities.”

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