Fremantle Acquires Majority Stake in Israeli Documentary Producer Silvio Productions
Production giant Fremantle acquired a majority share in Silvio Productions. This Israeli production company is behind documentary series Shadow of Truth Coastal Road Killer and After Midnight, The Baby Daddy, and Buried .
Financial terms were not disclosed. Fremantle is part media giant Bertelsmann’s RTL Group.
Silvio, previously known as Egg Films was nominated recently for two Emmy Awards at this year’s News and Documentary Emmy Awards. It was founded by award-winning Israeli-based director-writer-producers Yotam Guendelman and Mika Timor.
“The acquisition Silvio Productions further underlines Fremantle’s commitment and ambition for growing its global documentaries proposition by investing in and helping to develop premium production companies working alongside the world’s best creative talent,” the company stated.
The deal was spearheaded by Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle’s group COO and CEO of continental Europe, and Guy Hameiri, co-founder of Abot Hameiri, the Fremantle-owned Israeli production company behind international hit drama Shtisel (Netflix), the recently announced East Side and original formats Power Couple, Hear Me Love Me See Me, as well as the Israeli producer for suchglobal formats as Got Talent, Survivor and The X Factor.
“Yotam Guendelman and Mika Timor will collaborate and work closely with Abot Hameiri in Israel as well as benefitting from Fremantle’s global infrastructure, international distribution and strategic support across the 27 territories in which it operates around the world,” Fremantle said. “Under the agreement Guy Hameiri will take over as chairman of Silvio Productions with Guendelman & Timor reporting to him .”
Shadow of Truth was first broadcast on Israeli HOT8 channel. It was later picked up by Netflix for worldwide distribution. Fremantle stated that the series was viewed in more than 190 countries and won numerous awards, including the 2017 Israeli Academy Television Awards.
The firm’s recent productions include Buried (Showtime), which follows the story of Eileen Franklin who suddenly remembered witnessing the murder of her best childhood friend, and the film The Baby Daddy (Yes Docu), which follows Ari Nagel, a math professor and the father of 117 children, and counting. Austin Film Festival was the international premiere of the film.
Guendelman, Timor said: “This is truly a unique opportunity for us. To work with Guy and Abot Hameiri, who are undoubtedly one of the most respected production companies in Israel, and to join forces with Fremantle’s highly talented team. We are excited to work with Guy (Hameiri) and Andrea (Scrosati), who have a natural cultural, creative, business, and business rationale. We will be able to take our business growth and our ambitious slate to the next .”
level with their support and the global reach Fremantle.
Scrosati added: “Fremantle is committed working with the best talent and creative minds within the business. Silvio Productions’ Yotam, Mika, and their team have a track record and take pride in their filmmaking. As we expand our global documentaries capabilities, Fremantle is pleased to welcome them into our family. Guy Hameiri deserves my appreciation for his leadership and dedication to growing and optimizing our Israeli IP and business. I believe Silvio Productions will perfectly complement Abot Hameiri’s premium scripted and formats divisions, and we are extremely excited to see both businesses benefit from this collaboration.”
The investment in Silvio Productions follows various Fremantle acquisitions over the past 12 months. They include U.K. production company Dancing Ledge (The Responder), scripted Italian production company Lux Vide (Devils, Leonardo), international development and production company Fabel (Bosch), Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance, Finding Magic Mike) and 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group (This is Nice Group), Irish production company Element Pictures (Normal People, The Favourite), and most recently, 72 Films (All or Nothing: Arsenal, 9/11: One Day in America)and natural history and premium factual content production company, Wildstar Films (America the Beautiful, Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory).
2021, RTL group set August targets to increase Fremantle’s full-year revenue by 2025. to EUR3 billion. Fremantle stated that Silvio’s acquisition is part of Fremantle’s larger growth strategy to invest globally in content, talent, and production companies to source the best creative ideas and develop strong IP.