All3Media, the production/distribution giant behind Fleabag and The Traitors, and parent company of Northern labels including Hollyoaks producer Lime Pictures and Leeds doc specialist Wise Owl, and youth arm Hoot, is going back on the market after ITV backed away from a deal last month.
The indie giant, which is currently owned by Warner Bros Discovery and Liberty Global, is attracting interest from major international players including Mediawan, Banijay and Sony Pictures, Variety reports.
It is understood that ITV had a first-look option to explore an acquisition of All3Media thanks to the two companies’ joint shareholder, Liberty Global, which owns almost 10 per cent of ITV and 50 per cent of All3. That deal, valued at around $1bn, was thought to be almost a done deal prior to ITV’s change of heart.
Liberty Global confirmed during an investors’ call last week that the company was “launching a broader process [to sell All3Media], which has already attracted interest from strategic and financial players on both sides of the Atlantic,” per Variety.
A bid for All3 would potentially be particularly attractive for French media giants MediaWan and Banijay, both of whom are on the record as seeking to expand their English-language content libraries and production.
Mediawan took a majority stake in Brad Pitt’s Plan B last December in a deal valued at around $300m with a view to “create a unique artistic link between Europe and the United States,” according to Pierre-Antoine Capton, CEO and co-Founder of Mediawan.
Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti, meanwhile, described the UK as the company’s “most important and expensive market” last year.
Banijay UK’s slate already includes favourites like Location, Location, Location; Masterchef, and Peaky Blinders, but English language production still only accounts for around 25 per cent of the company’s global slate.
All3Media currently operates 50 labels across six countries and three continents, including the U.S., U.K. and New Zealand.