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Eyeworks enters Finland with prodco acquisition

Netherlands-based formats producer and distributor Eyeworks has moved into the Finnish market by acquiring the TV production operations of MRP Matila Röhr Productions.

The deal, for an undisclosed amount, means Nordisk Film TV Finland, which merged with MRP in 2008, will be rebranded as Eyeworks Finland.

Nordisk is best known for series such as A Little Bit of Fixing, ski resort reality show Ylläs, dating format Kalajoen Hiekat and lifestyle programme Going Home.

Celebrity Splash prodco Eyeworks now owns a majority stake in the business, with Nordisk’s management team retaining the rest. The company will remain headquartered in Helsinki. MRP, a feature film and nature doc production specialist, is not part of the deal and will remain independent.

Nordisk executive Antti Väisänen has been appointed managing director of the new business.

He said: “This is a natural phase in the growth of our TV-operations. I’m very happy about the company’s new owner base, which secures the same kind of entrepreneurial spirit and creative identity we’ve always had. We’re known for developing our own formats and concepts as well as producing international formats.

“The Eyeworks Group offers fantastic possibilities on the development front as well as in the international distribution of domestic formats and production of international formats.”

Eyework’s CEO Reinoult Oerlemans called the deal “an important step” in the company’s local growth plan. The deal comes soon after Eyeworks Scandinavia’s CEO Tobias Bringholm left the company, with individual territory heads appointed in Sweden, Norway and Denmark as a result.

“Creative exchange and collaboration is getting more and more important worldwide, but also between neighboring countries. Eyeworks already has a strong position in Scandinavia [in Sweden, Denmark and Norway] and with the expansion into Finland, we can form a stronger creative collective in all of the Nordic countries,” he said.

“In the past years international Eyeworks formats such as I Know What You Did Last Friday, Obese, Celebrity Splash and Reality Queens of the Jungle, were already successful on Finnish television. [It is] a perfect basis to extend this success with our new production office.”

The deal marks a first acquisition for Eyeworks since it took itself off the market in 2011 following a sale process that saw several companies come close to buying the firm.

Overall, the 12 year-old company has operations in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.