The UK’s leading private broadcaster has been on a production company shopping spree over the last several months in both the U.S. and Europe. In December 2012, it acquired a controlling interest in Gurney Productions (Duck Dynasty) followed by majority shares in Thinkfactory Media (Hatfields & McCoys) and High Noon Entertainment (Cake Boss). ITV also has controlling stakes in The Garden and So Television in the UK, Mediacircus in Norway and Tarinatalo in Finland. In a bid to increase its presence in super-hot Scandinavia, the group is now mulling a £90M ($134M) takeover of Nice Entertainment, according to The Sunday Times. The Helsinki-based Nice also has branches in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. It produces over 100 drama and reality series per annum including Hidden Tracks, The Half Brother, Babes On The Bus and Celebrity Babysitter. The Times says that Finnish investment firm Capman has hired Stella Advisors to auction the business which is on course to increase profits by about 35% to $12.8M this year. Sources indicated that other interested parties could include Fremantle, Sony and Time Warner. ITV had £108M in cash at the end of March, but if boss Adam Crozier were to buy Nice, it would be the most expensive acquisition he’s made so far. The biggest deal was the Gurney pick-up at $40M. With the Nordic region so important these days, ITV would use Nice as a springboard to sell more of its own shows to local broadcasters and increase international sales of Nice’s shows through its growing U.S. operation. The acquisition would also bring Crozier closer to his goal of being less reliant on a volatile UK advertising market. ITV says it doesn’t comment on speculation.
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This article was printed from http://www.deadline.com/2013/07/report-itv-eyeing-90m-acquisition-of-finlands-nice-entertainment/