BBC Studios continues its acquisitions in the United Kingdom.
It has acquired full control of Voltage TV, the London-based independent production company responsible for British programmes such as Inside the Factory on BBC Two, DNA Journey on ITV, and The British Tribe Next Door on Channel 4.
This is the first time that the BBC’s commercial arm has immediately purchased a 100 percent ownership in a producer. It often accumulates interests over a number of years before assuming complete control, a strategy it employed last month to acquire drama maker Firebird Pictures.
Channel 4, whose Channel 4 Growth Fund acquired a minority share in Voltage in 2015, is one of the parties who will benefit from the transaction.
In 2013, Sanjay Singhal and Steve Nam established Voltage. They have a pre-existing relationship with BBC Studios, which sells DNA Journey as a format internationally, and their indie will sit alongside factual divisions within BBC Studios such as The Natural History Unit, Events Production, Factual Entertainment Productions, The Documentary Unit, and The Science Unit.
Ralph Lee, CEO of BBC Studios, stated, “We’ve always respected Voltage, so when the opportunity presented, we moved swiftly to acquire the company outright.” “The breadth and quality of their slate is a wonderful match to the factual entertainment and factual brands produced by BBC Studios Productions.” We look forward to working even more closely with Sanjay, Steve, and the team to expand the business.”
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Voltage has produced episodes for all of the major UK broadcasters and is now in development on an untitled Netflix series, The Fake Sheikh for Prime Video, and the reality format Tempting Fortune for Channel 4 and Roku. A written feature film, Scoop, based on former Newsnight producer Sam McAlister’s Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s most Shocking Interviews, is now in development with Lighthouse Film and Television. Scoop is about Prince Andrew’s controversial Newsnight interview. In July, Baz Bamigboye of Deadline revealed the movie’s existence.
“I started as a trainee at the BBC exactly 30 years ago. Then, it was producing world-class programming, and it still is,” said Singhal. “I’m ecstatic that Voltage has found a home in an organisation that promotes risk-taking and shares our enormous creative vision for the coming years,” the author exclaims.
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Nam said, “When BBC Studios approached us, it felt like a perfect fit, and I am a huge believer in intuition. Our distribution partnership with BBC Studios stretches back to the debut of Voltage, and we look forward to continuing to benefit from their amazing global reach.
Banijay’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Israel’s MoviePlus Productions and Fremantle’s acquisition of 72 Films have contributed to a hectic day of M&A in the television production industry.