Tag Archive: CEO

  1. Kristian Farcin-Leth Takes on Mastiff Denmark CEO Post

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    Banijay Nordic today announces the appointment of entertainment leader, Kristian Farcin-Leth, as CEO of Mastiff Denmark. Joining from Fremantle-owned Strong Productions, where he most recently served as CEO, he brings a wealth of experience to the role and has been tasked with building on the previous success of the business to drive further growth opportunities across both scripted and unscripted.

    Under Farcin-Leth’s leadership, Strong has bolstered its position as an incredibly well- reputed label, behind hits like The Farm, Race Across The World, Celebrity Boot Camp and the Danish Academy Award-winning scripted series, Outlaw.

    An existing friend of Banijay Nordic, he previously served as a successful Programme Director for Mastiff, and also worked with Nordisk Film TV. Returning in his new capacity as CEO, he will work with the entity’s brilliant team to expand and diversify the company’s pipeline of original standout programming. He reports to Banijay’s Nordic Group COO, Karoline Spodsberg, and Mastiff Chairman and Nordic Group CEO, Jacob Houlind.

    Nordic Group CEO, Jacob Houlind, comments: “With unrivalled knowledge of the Danish market having been a cross-genre producer, creator and manager, Kristian couldn’t be better placed to take on the reins of the company. Sitting at the helm of a portfolio of best-in-class talent and formats, there is huge opportunity to further grow the slate of premium programming and build on Mastiff’s existing track record as a market-leading entertainment powerhouse.”

    Nordic Group COO Karoline Spodsberg comments: Today, talent and importantly, talent leadership is integral for success. Kristian has both the management profile and experience to strategically nurture Mastiff Denmark’s growth, and genre maturity. We are looking forward to seeing the company prosper under his direction.”

    Farcin-Leth added: “Mastiff is led by some of the very best creatives in the business, so it is hugely exciting to be asked to take on this challenge. The range and quality produced across the genres is unparalleled and, I’ll do all I can to help the continued growth and development. I’ve had five wonderful years at Strong, but the scope and ambition of the new role made the return to Mastiff irresistible, and I look forward to strengthening our position for the future. A future that requires us to dare to be modern and creative both in terms of management and development.”

    Farcin-Leth replaces long-serving Mastiff CEO, Mads Ulrick Holmstrup, following his decision to step down from the role after 20 years with the company. The company is one of the leading labels in Banijay’s Nordic group portfolio and most recently was behind titles including Drag Me Out, which has just been picked up in Norway, and Wild Wonderful Denmark.

  2. Banijay Nordic Appoints New CEO at Rubicon

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    Banijay Nordic today announces a new senior appointment at Norwegian scripted label Rubicon, with Håkon Briseid taking up the role of Chief Executive Officer.

     

    Håkon Briseid joins Rubicon from Norway’s Monster, where he has held responsibility for the company’s scripted division for over a decade. During his time at Monster, Briseid has executive produced numerous hit dramas including The Half Brother, Nobel, Borderliner, Young&Promising, Pørni and upcoming Furia.

    In his position at Rubicon, Håkon Briseid will report to Banijay Nordic’s CEO, Jacob Houlind, and the region’s Head of Scripted, Johannes Jensen. With a remit to further grow Rubicon’s output, he will work with creative leaders, Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, on building the company’s line-up of critically-acclaimed, original content for both the Norwegian and international market. Briseid will take up the position early in 2022.

    One of Norway’s leading drama production companies, Rubicon, is behind a slate of freshly created scripted productions, including Beforeigners, which is available across HBO Europe territories, and via HBO Max in the U.S. Season two will launch later this year with Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Ann Akin (I May Destroy You), Jade Anouka (Cleaning Up), Billy Postlethwaite (Chenobyl), and Philip Rosch (The King) joining the cast.

    Other credits include coming-of-age story Nach for Discovery Nordic, distributed by Banijay Rights, and a soon to be announced project for NRK. Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad are also behing global success Lillyhammer, and The Councilman, which was also adapted for the Dutch market.

    Håkon Briseid comments: “Sixteen years at Monster speaks for itself. It has been a fantastic ride and I am extremely proud of my colleagues and the upcoming slate. This is an opportunity I could not let go, as I have long-admired Rubicon’s slate of scripted series which shines a light on topics in the the local and international zeitgeist. Eilif and Anne have a distinctive voice, often with a satirical twist, allowing the audience to connect with characters in a unique way. I look forward to working with them and the rest of the talented team at Rubicon, as well as joining the unrivalled community of scripted producers at Banijay.”

    Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, Creative Directors at Rubicon comment: “We’re delighted Håkon has decided to join Rubicon as our CEO. He has a deep understanding of the local and global market, and it’s brilliant to have a well-respected leader team up with us, especially with a second season of Beforeigners on the horizon, and as we enter the next phase of creating new projects for our eclectic slate.”

     

    Jacob Houlind, CEO at Banijay Nordic says: “Nordic scripted content continues to take the world by storm, and we are incredibly proud of Rubicon’s productions. This appointment cements the company’s position as an industry trailbrazer.”

     

    Johannes Jensen, Group Head of Scripted Banijay Nordic adds: “Håkon Briseid is a proven scripted leader and the ideal person to join Eilif and Anne as they continue to create premium, original programming for Norway and beyond.”

     

    Banijay Nordic encompasses the region’s very best scripted labels, behind internationally-recognised drama and comedy. Joining Rubicon’s Beforeigners (HBO) and Nach (Discovery Nordic), are forthcoming credits such as Vinterviken/ JJ & E (Filmlance for Netflix and SVT), Ronja (Filmlance for Viaplay),  A Class Apart (Jarowskij in co-production with Brommamamma, Film I Väst and Nent Group for Viaplay), Snow Angels (Yellow Bird for SVT), Young Wallander 2 and Spotify Untold (Yellow Bird UK for Netflix) and Detective Marie Kallio (Banijay Finland for CMore).

     

  3. Banijay Elevates Cris Abrego to Top Americas Role

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    Banijay, the world’s leading unscripted producer and distributor, today announces the final structure for its operations across the Americas, with Cris Abrego stepping up in a new overarching role. As Chairman of the Americas, Banijay, and President and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings, he will now have principal responsibility for North America and Latin America, reporting to Chief Executive Officer, Marco Bassetti.

     

    A renowned U.S.-based content leader, Abrego previously served as CEO, Endemol Shine North America and Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas, having taken up the positions in 2016. Originally joining Endemol Shine North America in 2014 as CO-CEO, he, in 2016, was given added oversight of the company’s Latin American operations as Co-Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas. Former co-founder and chief executive of Endemol Shine-owned studio 51 Minds Entertainment, he is one of the leading creators and producers of reality television in the U.S., recognized globally for pioneering the celeb-reality genre. Most recently, he led the successful launch of production labels in both Brasil and Mexico for Endemol Shine, as well as a push into Spanish-language programming in the U.S. and across Latin America.

     

    Steeped in critical acclaim, Abrego’s new footprint is behind hit titles including Big Brother (CBS), MasterChef (FOX), Lego Masters (FOX), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), Keeping up with the Kardashians (E!), Utopia (Amazon Prime Video), Ball in the Family (Facebook Watch), T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH-1) and the upcoming return of Wipeout (TBS). Spanish-language triumphs to date include Mira Quién Baila (Univision), LOL: Last One Laughing (Amazon), ¿Quién Es La Máscara?(Televisa), MasterChef Mexico (Azteca), Tu Cara Me Suena (Univison), MasterChef Brazil(Bandeirantes/Discovery), All Together Now (Teen) (Record), Extreme Makeover Home Edition (GNT/Globo), Game of Clones (Amazon/Record) and Súbete a Mi Moto (Amazon).

     

    “Cris has long been a significant figurehead in the US content ecosystem. Respected, creatively triumphant and a driver of positive change, he has all the qualities to strategically and effectively lead one of our largest territories,” said Marco Bassetti. “With nine labels split across North and Latin America, spanning everything from entertainment to scripted, he has oversight of some of the region’s most celebrated IP and we’ve no doubt our pipeline and reputation will only soar under his leadership.”

     

    “I am truly excited about this new role and the opportunity that it allows me and our team to continue building on the tremendous momentum we’ve created at Endemol Shine over the last five years across North America and Latin America,” says Abrego. “I’m also looking forward to working closely with Marco and our new Banijay colleagues here in the U.S. and around the globe. Together we are now home to many of the biggest titles in our industry and our teams are currently developing the hits of tomorrow.”

     

    Abrego’s full portfolio of award-winning businesses now includes Endemol Shine North America,Bunim/Murray Productions, Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Stephen David Entertainment and YellowBird US. He will also have full oversight of Endemol Shine Latino, the company’s Spanish-language sales and development arm that leads all original programming initiatives across Latin America, including Mexico City-based studio Endemol Shine Boomdog and Endemol Shine Brasil in Sao Paulo. Banijay Studios North America will continue to be run independently by President and CEO, David Goldberg.

     

    As one of the highest-ranking Latinos in television, Abrego has made inclusion a top priority for his team at Endemol Shine and across the entire entertainment industry – he will continue to drive this narrative across his broadened remit.

  4. Banijay Names François de Brugada CEO for France

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    Banijay today confirms François de Brugada will continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer for France. Taking the helm for Banijay France, he will now have oversight of the combined unscripted and scripted footprint and a host of the country’s leading creative talent.

     

    Brugada has been with Banijay since its inception in 2008, playing a pivotal role in its international expansion, first as EVP for Content and later COO. In 2015, he transitioned into the role of CEO for Banijay France and has led the country’s leading entity ever since. Previously, he was at M6, where he fulfilled the roles of head of commissioning for unscripted shows and art director for channels.

     

    Banijay France will now comprise 10 entities including Adventure Line Productions, Endemol Shine France, Banijay Studios France, H20 Productions, Banijay Production Media, KM Productions and Banijay Productions France amongst others. The bolstered offering includes some of the country’s best-loved brands including Koh Lanta, Fort Boyard, Taratata, Miss France, Les 12 Coups de midi, Touche Pas à Mon Poste, 28 minutes, Les enfants de la télé, Les Marseillais and Une saison au zoo.

     

    Marco Bassetti comments: “François has been with Banijay since the start. Playing a significant role in the globalisation of the business from the word go, he has gone on to build an incredibly strong footprint for us in France. A first-class strategic and commercially-minded player, he is well-placed to lead the local group through this exciting phase of change and growth.”

     

    François de Brugada comments: “Banijay France has long been the home of some of the nation’s best talent and I am honoured to be welcoming a host of new creative entrepreneurs into the fold. Combining the strengths of both groups, I hope that Banijay France will continue to be a renowned home for the top brands in the country and IP that travels the globe. A special thanks goes to Nicolas who has built a strong operation in EndemolShine France and successfully put the brand on the scripted map in France.”

     

    Nicolas Coppermann, President of EndemolShine France will step down from his role at the end of July, with François de Brugada taking up an interim MD position alongside his CEO responsibilities.

  5. Banijay Completes Landmark Deal to Acquire Endemol Shine Group

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    Banijay today announced the completion of the acquisition of Endemol Shine Group, previously co-owned by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO). The closed deal, which has been successfully approved by the relevant regulators worldwide in consultation with relevant employee representative bodies, sees the French-headquartered group scale up significantly to approximately 200 entities across 22 countries.

     

    The deal makes Banijay the largest international content producer and distributor, ramping up its distribution division, Banijay Rights, and building a catalogue of over 88,000 hours of multi-genre premium entertainment brands. Cementing a collective of the world’s best creative entrepreneurs and an abundance of first-class and new and innovative IP, the business, which retains its name, will act as a go-to for clients across all territories and genres. Total pro-forma revenue of the combined group for 2019 reached approximately €2.7 billion.

     

    As of today, Banijay represents a number of the world’s biggest brands and global formats including Survivor, Big BrotherPeaky Blinders, Temptation Island, MasterChef, WallanderThe Kardashians, Mr Bean, The Wall, Hunted, Black Mirror, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Deal or No Deal.

     

    The combined group will be led by Chief Executive Officer, Marco Bassetti, with Sophie Turner Laing stepping down from her role as Chief Executive Officer of Endemol Shine Group. Turner Laing’s final day will be Friday 10thJuly.

     

    Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer, Banijay comments: “The close of this unique deal represents the joining of two businesses built on entrepreneurialism, creativity and people. Aligned in thinking, and approach, we now stand together as the world’s largest international content creation and distribution group. Expanding our catalogue and investment in high-quality, multi-genre IP, extending our footprint significantly, and welcoming a number of new world-class creatives, we hope to become a go-to for clients, and home for the best talent to create the most innovative and fresh scripted and non-scripted programming. With newfound scale and increased strength in the industry, we are excited by the path ahead. I’d like to finish by thanking Sophie for her ongoing support and hard work in such a challenging year.”

     

    Sophie Turner Laing, Chief Executive Officer, Endemol Shine Group comments: “This deal bookmarks a creatively rich, commercially successful and relentlessly prolific five and a half years as Endemol Shine Group. It has been a real privilege and honour to lead such a talented and dynamic group of people, each of whom has played their part in, and should be proud of, our many collective successes over this time. As the start of an exciting new chapter in the company’s story, it is also the appropriate time for me to step down as CEO, and I wish Marco and his team the very best for the future.”

     

    The acquisition has been financed through a capital increase of Banijay Group and debt financing, and was combined with a full refinancing of the financial debt of Banijay and Endemol Shine.  Deutsche Bank, Natixis and Société Générale acted as global coordinators and joint bookrunners and BNP Paribas and Bank of America as joint bookrunners on the debt financing. Post- closing, the combined group will be held by LDH (67.1%) and Vivendi (32.9%).

     

    LDH is a holding company controlled by Financière LOV (more than 52% of the capital), Stéphane Courbit’s investment arm. LDH has the following other shareholders: the Italian Group De Agostini and Fimalac, the investment company of Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière. In addition to a direct investment in LDH, Fimalac has reinforced its long-term partnership with Financière LOV by increasing its stake in Financière LOV from 5.75% to 8.4%.

     

    Rothschild and PJ Solomon (a Natixis affiliate) acted as financial advisors to Banijay Group. Société Générale acted as financial advisor to Financière LOV. Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier and Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised Banijay Group in connection with the transaction. Deutsche Bank, Natixis, Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Bank of America underwrote the financial debt and were advised by Latham & Watkins AARPI.

     

    LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor to Endemol Shine Group, including The Walt Disney Company and the Apollo funds, in connection with the transaction. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to Endemol Shine Group in connection with the transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP advised the Apollo funds and Endemol Shine Group in connection with the transaction. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP advised The Walt Disney Company in connection with the transaction. Hogan Lovells International LLP advised Endemol Shine Group in connection with the transaction.

  6. Banijay Group Enlists Cathy Payne to Lead Distribution

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    Banijay Group today confirms the appointment of Cathy Payne as CEO, Banijay Rights. Previously CEO, Endemol Shine International, she has been brought on board to lead the business’ growing global distribution strategy and activities and take the division through its impending next phase.

     

    An industry veteran, Payne brings a wealth of experience and commercial acumen, and will be tasked with overseeing the positioning and exploitation of Banijay Rights’ expanding catalogue, building the business’ reputation and that of its brands across the world. The move follows almost ten years of service with Endemol, most recently under the guise of Endemol Shine International, where she directed all worldwide distribution efforts, steering its six-territory strong team and in-house and third-party content sales, as well as working closely with the commercial team on IP exploitation. During her tenure, she projected the business’ Scripted capabilities through international co-productions and was behind the global roll-out and success of numerous hit brands including Peaky Blinders, Mr Bean, Grantchester, Tin Star and Younger, alongside the continued longevity ofHome and Away, in addition to working alongside the production and creative businesses on expanding non-scripted franchises: MasterChef, Big Brother, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Ambulance and Lego Masters.

     

    Prior to taking on the role of Chief Executive, Endemol Worldwide Distribution, in 2009, Payne was Chief Executive at Southern Star International. There, over the course of 20 years, she was responsible for building one of the largest distributors of English-language content outside of the U.S.

     

    In line with the expansion plans for distribution, Tim Mutimer will now fulfil the role of EVP, EMEA Sales & Acquisitions, Banijay Rights. Working collaboratively with Payne, he will oversee the team and all activity for the region.

     

    Payne will adopt her new role on Monday 27 April 2020, reporting to CEO, Marco Bassetti.

     

    Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive, Banijay Group comments: “Cathy is an exceptional leader and incredibly well-respected industry mogul. A creative entrepreneur with extraordinary market knowledge and commercial intelligence, she is behind some of the world’s biggest distribution successes. Having worked with her directly and admired her work from afar, we have long-followed her journey and could not be more excited to have her joining ours, as we continue to build the business and its footprint worldwide.”

     

    Cathy Payne adds: “It has never been a more exciting time for content creation and distribution, and I am energised to be joining the team as it embarks on this period of expansion.”

     

    The Banijay Rights catalogue currently comprises some of the world’s leading formats and titles including Survivor, Versailles, Temptation Island, Wife Swap, The Restaurant, The Inbetweeners, The Crystal Maze, Wisting, Occupied and The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds.