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, as well as the upcoming A Year on Planet Earth.
Founded in 2013 by Grant Mansfield, the firm has won Bafta, Emmy and Academy awards and produced hundreds of hours of content which has been sold to nearly 200 countries.
The acquisition of a 79.5% stake in the company, at a cost of £103.5 million, will support ITV’s ongoing strategy to reduce its reliance on advertising revenue and bolster its ITV Studios division’s relationship with global streamers.
Mansfield and his existing team will continue to manage the business alongside ITV Studios Managing Director Julian Bellamy, Director of Unscripted, UK, 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 quite special strategic and cultural fit that will enable us to achieve our, now shared, creative and commercial ambitions for Plimsoll.
“We’re excited 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 programmes is core to our strategy as we further diversify the business by genre, by geography, by customer and grow ahead of the market.
“Through Plimsoll Productions, as a Studio, we can continue to capitalise on the growing demand for natural history and factual programming and I am really pleased to welcome Grant and the team.”