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ITV acquires controlling stake in DiGa Vision

MUMBAI: UK media company ITV has acquired a controlling stake in DiGa Vision, the New York-based independent producer of reality and scripted programming including MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’.

ITV will make an upfront cash payment for a 51 per cent stake in DiGa Vision with a put and call option to buy the remainder of the company. The put and call option could be exercised from between 3 and 6 years, with the total amount paid linked to the performance of the company over that period. The multiple paid is similar to the range paid on ITV’s previous acquisitions.

The acquisition represents another step forward in ITV’s strategy of building a strong international content business and is an important addition to the Group’s growing portfolio of production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. It follows ITV’s acquisition in the last 18 months of Gurney Productions, High Noon Entertainment and Thinkfactory Media in the US as well as UK producers The Garden and Big Talk.

Since launching DiGa Vision in 2011, former MTV executives Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley have successfully developed an impressive slate of original programming with 12 series given the green light. Last year saw 36 episodes of new series including ‘Girl Get Your Mind Right’ and primetime drama ‘Ke$ha: Crazy Beautiful Life’ – both for MTV – with auction-based format Celebrity Home Raiders to air on Lifetime in March. MTV also commissioned two more seasons of ‘Teen Wolf’, airing 24 episodes last year.

ITV Studios US Group president, CEO Paul Buccieri said, “Tony and Liz have an excellent track record in creating original, engaging and compelling reality and scripted programming with an impressive content pipeline which feeds into numerous networks. They’re a true creative force and will be a great addition to the ITV Studios US Group of companies.

“They have developed a brilliant understanding of pop culture and really know what appeals to the key teenage and young adult demographic which is reflected in their online, mobile and social media strategy together with a successful brand extension and merchandising arm. We’re really excited to work with DiGa Vision and look forward to helping them grow and reach their full potential.”

DiSanto, Gateley said, “We are thrilled to join forces with ITV, a company that is truly committed to creative risk taking and great content. Paul Buccieri and his team share our sensibility and enthusiasm for breaking new creative ground and we look forward to this next step in DiGa’s evolution.”