Banijay eyes Netherlands, Benelux

French producer and distributor Banijay is hatching plans to move into the Netherlands and Benelux in early 2010, Guillaume de Vergès has told TBIvision.

The company also expects to complete the acquisition of Zig Zag by the end of the year.

Banijay has been on an acquisition spree. As well as buying into the UK with Zig Zag it has set up in the US this year with Angel City Factory and acquired Nordic super-indie Nordisk in October. Founded by former Endemol France boss Stéphane Courbit, it had already bought into several production companies in France and taken a majority stake in Spanish producer Cuarzo and Russia’s Intelegencia.

On the programming front Banijay’s Angel City Factory is developing and pitching the US version of JES Productions (a Banijay subsidiary) Mes parents vont t’adorer (My Parents will love You). The reality series started on French digital terrestrial channel NRJ 12 and features anonymous contestants who let their parents believe that he or she will marry a celebrity.

The company is also pitching French format Le Grand Frère (Older Brother) to Russia. The show is from Paris-based La Concepteria, which has a distribution deal with Banijay.