ITV plc today announced that it has agreed to acquire Boom Supervisory Limited, the holding company of the Twofour Group, the family of award-winning UK and US based production companies behind hit shows including Educating Yorkshire, The Jump, Posh Pawn, The Hotel Inspector and Animal Odd Couples.
With offices in London, Cardiff, Plymouth, Los Angeles and New York, in 2014 the Group produced over 1,200 hours of programmes, through their production companies including Twofour, Boomerang, Oxford Scientific Films, Indus, Boom Cymru, Twofour America and scripted producer Delightful Industries.
ITV, which acquires Twofour from majority shareholder LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, will pay an initial cash consideration of £55million for 75% of the Group. There is a put and call option for the remaining 25% that can be exercised at the end of 2017 and between the end of 2019 and 2021, with any further payment subject to minimum average EBITA thresholds. Under the management of Chief Executive Melanie Leach, Twofour delivered £5million EBITDA in 2014.
Additionally, Twofour owns 51% of drama indie Mainstreet Pictures and has a put and call option to acquire the remaining 49% of its subsidiary Mainstreet that can be exercised between 2018 and 2023.
The total maximum consideration for Twofour and the remaining 49% of Mainstreet is £280million with contingent payments dependent on both businesses delivering exceptional profit growth to £60million in aggregate over the payment period.
The Group’s recent hits include The Jump, and the third incarnation of the Emmy and BAFTA winning Educating… franchise for Channel 4; World’s Most Expensive Food (Indus/Channel 4); series two of the reality entertainment series Edge of Alaska (Twofour America/Discovery), and the critically acclaimed Animal Odd Couples (Oxford Scientific Films/BBC1). Other key titles include Channel 5’s longest running series The Hotel Inspector and Boomerang’s Posh Pawn (Channel 4), one of the Group’s bestselling programmes internationally, having been acquired by broadcasters in 50 countries.
The Twofour Group is currently in production with a raft of new and returning shows including six-part thriller Unforgotten (ITV) and comedy, I Want My Wife Back (BBC1) from Mainstreet, Educating Cardiff (Channel 4) from Twofour, Posh Pawn daytime spin-off The Dealmakers (Channel 4) from Boomerang and Oh My Dog from Oxford Scientific Films (Sky One).
Twofour Rights, the in-house distribution arm of the Group, represents a diverse catalogue of over 550 hours of finished programmes and formats including Storage Hoarders, Ibiza Weekender, Happy Families and Chefs on Trial. Broadcast Magazine has twice named Twofour Indie of the Year in 2010 and 2014.
Kevin Lygo, Managing Director ITV Studios, said: “Great creative talent, fantastic content and brilliant production expertise are central to ITV Studios’ strategy, so I'm delighted that the Twofour Group is joining our family of production companies as we continue to boost ITV Studios’ growth in the UK and internationally.”
Julian Bellamy, Managing Director, ITV Studios UK added: "At ITV Studios our mission is to work with the best creative talent in Britain and our acquisition of Twofour is a brilliant illustration of that ambition. They're a creative group at the top of their game across factual, entertainment, drama and comedy and we're delighted to welcome them into the ITVS family."
Leach said: “The management teams across the Twofour Group are delighted to be joining ITV Studios. ITVS has a great track record in backing creative talent and we look forward to working with them as we continue to grow the group in the UK and internationally.”