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Talpa acquires stake in Russia’s Mir

Talpa Media has acquired a stake in Russian producer Mir Reality. This move comes as Talpa, the Dutch producer and distributor set up by Endemol founder John de Mol, continues its rapid international expansion. It is significant because it is the first acquisition the company has made, unlike in other territories where it has struck joint venture agreements.

The acquisition will see Mir Reality produce Russian versions of Talpa’s formats including Dating in the Dark and I Love My Country. Mir Reality, which was set up by Vladimir Utin, formerly managing director of Russian producer Amber Films, and Simon Tucker, who produced the UK versions of formats including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here and Pop Idol. It currently produces Russian versions of a raft of international formats including Dragon’s Den, Beauty and the Geek and BBC Worldwide hit Top Gear.

“Next to the fact that Russia is the biggest country in the world, it’s also Europe’s fastest growing media market. For us the stake in Mir is a great way to establish a partnership with a top producer who already proves how to adapt BBC and other international formats to the Russian taste,” said John de Mol.

Over the last twelve months, Talpa has set up joint ventures in the United States (with Warner Horizon), in Scandinavia (with Nordisk Film and TV), in Australia (with Shine), in Germany (with Schwartzkopff) and a number of other territories.