Forging into television, France’s Studiocanal has acquired a majority stake in Munich-based producer and distributor Tandem Communications, a specialist in international event-style miniseries and global TV distribution. Studiocanal, which recently backed Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and will finance the Coen brothers’ upcoming Inside Llewyn Davis, has been focused on film until now and last year entered a $200 million slate financing deal with Anton Capital Entertainment. The strategic partnership with Tandem, for which financials were not disclosed, sees the company expand its reach onto the global TV market. Among Tandem’s recent efforts is the just-wrapped eight-hour miniseries World Without End, the follow-up to The Pillars Of The Earth, both of which it co-produced with Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Productions. The press release is below:

STUDIOCANAL took a majority stake in TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS, one of the leading European companies for international primetime Event TV productions and worldwide distribution of quality television programs.This partnership marks another step in the growth of STUDIOCANAL.

In 2011, STUDIOCANAL reinforced its production investments with a slate financing deal to co-finance their international films, and enlarged its distribution with an output deal with Lovefilm in the UK and Germany.

With the partnership and stake in Tandem, STUDIOCANAL diversifies its activities in the market of international TV series and strengthens its position as a European leader in content, building on its strategy of International, high quality programming.

TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS, the European mini studio in international TV productions will continue to develop and produce primetime event programming for the worldwide market, and distribute its own productions worldwide as well as third party productions.

Tandem’s strength lies in English language productions with prime time suitability and high production value with international themes that transcend boundaries.

Rola Bauer, Tim Halkin and Jonas Bauer will remain shareholders and will continue to lead and further develop Tandem Communications.

In 2012, the major events for Tandem will be the eight-hour event series “World Without End”, based on Ken Follett’s worldwide bestselling novel, and the four-hour miniseries “Labyrinth”, based on the bestselling novel by Kate Mosse.

“STUDIOCANAL stands for excellent quality”, says Rola Bauer, TANDEM President and Partner. “Its brand value and strategic expertise will open new levels for growth potential in the years to come. STUDIOCANAL has the foresight to support our entrepreneurial spirit and together we will multiply our respective strengths.”

Olivier Courson, Chairman and CEO of STUDIOCANAL said: “With our multi territory distribution network, the development of our international production, amplified by our slate financing deal, STUDIOCANAL is really now a major studio in Europe. As all studios have done, the next logical move is to diversify into TV Minis and Series. We searched for the best partner in Europe and found Tandem as the ideal one. Their television strategy is in sync with our objective. We were meant to work together. I am really glad to develop this new activity with such talented and gifted producers as Rola, Tim and Jonas.”