ITV has bought a majority stake in Plimsoll Productions, the award-winning natural history production company which has made shows for Apple TV+, Netflix and Disney, plus the upcoming A Year on Planet Earth.
Founded in 2013 by Grant Mansfield, the company has won Bafta, Emmy and Academy awards and produced hundreds of hours of content that has been sold in nearly 200 countries.
The acquisition of a 79.5% stake in the company, at a cost of £103.5m, will support ITV’s ongoing strategy to reduce its dependence on advertising revenue and strengthen its ITV Studios division with global broadcasters.
Mansfield and his existing team will continue to manage the business alongside ITV Studios Managing Director Julian Bellamy, Unscripted UK Director Angela Jain and their team.
He said: “The significant opportunities in the international premium unscripted market make this the perfect time for Plimsoll to join ITV Studios. There is a rather special strategic and cultural complementarity that will allow us to achieve our now shared, creative and commercial ambitions for Plimsoll.
“We are delighted to be part of ITV Studios’ expanding global force in content and delighted that from today this powerful new partnership is officially active.”
ITV CEO Carolyn McCall added: “Growing ITV Studios with an exciting pipeline of premium programming is central to our strategy as we further diversify the business by genre, by geography, by customer and as we we are developing ahead of the market.
“Thanks to Plimsoll Productions, as a studio, we can continue to capitalize on the growing demand for natural history and factual programming and I am truly delighted to welcome Grant and his team.”