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Banijay buys US indie

Banijay Group has bought a controlling stake in Stephen David Entertainment, the US prodco behind History channel series The World Wars and The Men Who Built America.

Stephen-David-HS2France-based production and distribution group Banijay comprises several production brands including Nordisk in Europe, Screentime in Australian and, in the US, Bunim/Murray.

SDE will sit alongside these in the Banijay stable, with SDE founder and president Stephen David (left) reporting to David Goldberg, Banijay group president and Banijay Studios CEO.

SDE specialises in factual, docudrama and scripted series. Its latest project is History’s American Revolution series Sons of Liberty, which bows later this month. It is based in New York and has its own post-production studio.

Marco Bassetti, Banijay group CEO, said: “This new deal underlines our policy to expand our footprint in the English-speaking market, bringing added value to our business as a whole. With SDE on board, our presence in the US market becomes even stronger and more diverse.”

David Goldberg said that SDE will help Banijay in its US scripted drive, as well as providing factual content for the business.

“This move complements our existing business and strengthens Banijay’s ability to break new creative ground in North America,” he said. “We believe there is a great deal of opportunity for growth of the non-scripted and scripted documentary genres.”