French media companies Zodiak Media and Banijay Group have completed their deal to merge, making the newly created Banijay Group a global production and distribution force with operations in 17 territories.
Touted as the world’s largest independent production company, and the biggest not controlled by a media group, the united company is 73.8% controlled by a company comprised of Stéphane Courbit’s LOV Group and De Agostini Group-owned DeA Communications, with Vivendi taking a 26.2% stake in the total group.
Together, the new producer/distributor of drama, factual, reality entertainment, docu-drama, children’s and animation programming boasts revenues of more than US$1 billion.
Both companies’ distribution operations have also merged and will be led by Zodiak Rights CEO Tim Multimer, who is now head of distribution under the Zodiak Rights name.
Additional executive changes include the promotion of Banijay CFO Sophie Kurinckx to CFO of the entire group and the appointment of Frédérique Sauvage to general counsel.
After an extensive executive re-shuffling in 2014 that saw former execs Nigel Pickard, David Michel and Vincent Chalvon-Demersay depart the company, and Jean-Philippe Randisi land the newly created role of CEO, the company consolidated its production operations under the Zodiak Kids Studios banner in 2015 and named industry veteran and former head of The Foundation Michael Carrington as CEO.