ITV ‘set to buy Twofour’

The JumpUK broadcaster ITV is set to acquire Plymouth-based production and distribution group Twofour, a Media Guardian report claims.

The deal’s value is not known, but could see Educating Essex producer Twofour fetch around £70 million (US$107.5 million), according the paper’s estimates.

Twofour merged with Boom Pictures in October 2013, though the partnership has not been harmonious, and Boom’s founder, former BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessy left in acrimonious circumstances last June.

The company subsequently restructured and rebranded as Twofour Group, with Twofour founder Melanie Leach taking on the CEO post.

For ITV, a deal would be its latest major production acquisition under chief executive Adam Crozier and ITV Studios managing director Kevin Lygo. The Guardian claims London Stock Exchange-listed ITV could announce the deal as early as this week.

Already this year it has bought John de Mol’s Talpa Media and come close to a deal for The Weinstein Company. Last year it bought US-based Leftfield Entertainment, and it has also acquired various other UK, European and US producers in recent years.

Should a deal go ahead on this new front, Twofour would sit alongside the in-house ITV Studios UK unit, plus British prodcos The Garden, Big Talk Productions and So Television.

Twofour’s best-known programmes are the Educating… factual entertainment format brand and ITV’s UK version of Celebrity Slash and Channel 4 competition series The Jump (pictured). The Alex Polizzi finished programmes also do well for distribution arm, Twofour Rights.

An ITV spokesman said: “We do not comment on speculation.” Twofour had not responded to a request for comment at press time.