British broadcaster ITV Plc (LON:ITV) said it had purchased production company So Television for a maximum price of GBP17m (USD27m/EUR21.5m), as part of plans to boost its capability in the production of TV entertainment programming.
ITV, carrying out the deal through its fully-owned unit ITV Studios Ltd, will provide GBP10m of the total price in cash upfront and an additional cash payment based on SO Television’s profits to 31 July 2016, the buyer said.
The acquired business, set up by Graham Norton and Graham Stuart 12 years ago, produces entertainment and comedy programmes such as The Graham Norton Show and The Sarah Millican Television Programme.
The Graham Norton Show was recommissioned by BBC earlier in 2012 through 2014 and it is also distributed internationally and broadcast in 100 other countries.
The deal serves ITV’s five-year transformation plan to build world-class content for free and pay platforms in the UK and abroad, the buyer said.
ITV Studios’ managing director Kevin Lygo said in a comment that his company can bring scale to So Television. The new owner will keep The Graham Norton Show as a top programme, while adding new programming, Lygo explained.
Graham Norton and Graham Stuart welcomed the transaction, saying that under the umbrella of ITV, So Television will have the strength needed to continue its growth.