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BBC Worldwide ups stake in drama production firm Lookout Point to 49%

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide and Lookout Point began their relationship in 2010 with a first look distribution deal. This developed into a co-venture agreement for production financing and distribution and subsequently an initial equity relationship in 2014 with BBC Worldwide owning 35%. An increase to a 49% shareholding will enable BBC Worldwide to support Lookout Point in its next phase of development.

As part of the deal, the two companies have also agreed an option whereby BBC Worldwide may take on full ownership of Lookout Point in future.

Lookout Point is an independent drama production company, working with UK writing, directing and on-screen talent to produce bold and innovative television drama.

Founded in 2009, the company has built a proven reputation as the market leader in global drama financing. Lookout Point’s credits to date include Andrew Davies’ critically acclaimed adaptation of War and Peace for BBC One, Ripper Street (shortly in its fifth and final season on Amazon Prime), and Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Lookout Point’s chairman, joint CEO, Simon Vaughan, was joined by Faith Penhale as joint CEO earlier this year. Its 2016 productions include Mike Bartlett’s bold and provocative newspaper drama Press, co-produced with Nigel Stafford-Clark/Deep Indigo and BBC Studios for BBC One; Andrew Davies’ upcoming adaptation of ‘Les Misérables’ co-produced with BBC Studios for BBC One and Oliver Goldstick’s drama set in a post-war Paris fashion house, ‘The Collection’, for Amazon Prime and France Télévisions. 

With Penhale as executive producer, Lookout Point has been co-producers on Sally Wainwright’s landmark single film about the lives of the Brontë sisters, ‘To Walk Invisible’, also co-produced with BBC Studios for BBC One. In addition, Lookout Point has been collaborating as a financier with BBC Cymru Wales on period mystery drama ‘The Living and the Dead’ and with Sid Gentle Films on Len Deighton’s alternate history thriller adaptation ‘SS-GB’, both for BBC One. 

Vaughan said, “The expanded stake that BBC Worldwide has now taken in the company gives Lookout Point further stability and commitment to progress our growth plans, whilst allowing us to retain our independence and entrepreneurial spirit. Over the years we have proven that working with BBC Worldwide together results in bigger and better projects. Since Faith Penhale joined the company as my Joint CEO in February, we have made a quantum leap forward and sincerely believe that the best is yet to come.”

BBC Worldwide chief content officer Helen Jackson said, “The drama genre now accounts for around half our investment and half our sales, and our appetite for high end scripted British content shows no sign of diminishing. Lookout Point has been part of the BBC Worldwide family for over five years now, and with its increasing focus on its own production capability, this is a logical progression of the close partnership we first forged in 2010. This is exciting news for creators and lovers of British drama across the world.”