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Israel’s United Studios preps UK prodco acquisition

Israel’s oldest production studio is poised to move into the UK market and buy into a British producer, TBI has learned.

Yoav PeretzUnited Studio’s parent Taya Media Group is identifying targets for the company to acquire as it looks to the international market for the next stage of its growth.

Taya, which owns a stake in UK indie DCD Media, recently sold back its 30% stake in UK audiovisual services firm Avesco Group, and plans to use some of the proceeds for acquisitions.

Explaining the move, United Studios CEO Yoav Peretz told TBI: “With Taya exiting Avesco, we will look to invest in production companies outside of Israel. We believe the UK market is very interesting – it’s a very similar territory to us but there you can keep the IP of the product.”

Peretz said: “We know the British market, have the money to do it, have some shares in DCD Media and we believe this year we will find the right company to invest in.”

United Studios is best known internationally for its Reshet channel format Raid the Cage, which Sony Pictures Television distributes internationally, with channels in Russia, Argentina, Romania, China, Turkey and Peru all taking local versions.

The studio launched in Israel in 1949 as a movie producer but began working on television production in the early 1990s after Taya acquired a 65% share in the firm.

UPDATE: 2.07pm GMT – Taya Media’s CEO and chairman Ami Gingier has issued a follow up statement to TBI expanding on his firm’s plans in the UK.

“Following our successful exit from our Avesco investment, Taya is now looking for its next media investment vehicle. As a partner, Taya has years experience and knowledge of the global media industry, We are looking for the right opportunity to support a media business to reach the next stage of its growth, by leveraging  our experience and networks as well as our financial input.

“The international media landscape is constantly changing, and although content is still be ‘king’, and is a particularly attractive investment in the UK, we are looking at a wide range of businesses with potential all across the media industry.”