FremantleMedia buys French prodco

FremantleMedia has bought a majority stake in fledgling French drama producer Fontaram.

The company was created recently by French producer/writer partners François Aramburu and Pascal Fontanille and FremantleMedia has taken a 51% stake, with an option to buy the remaining stake.

The deal follows FremantleMedia’s deal for Italian drama prodco Wildside as it seeks to have a greater presence in international scripted TV.

Aramburu and Fontanille previously created Merlin Productions in 2000 and their drama credits include Clem and On se Retrouvera for commercial broadcaster TF1 and Eric Cantona project Délit de Fuite for France 2.

The deal was brokered by Monica Galer, CEO of FremantleMedia France, who will have a seat on the board of the new company.

She said: “François and Pascale are incredibly talented drama producers with a wealth of experience and long standing relationships with all of the major French broadcasters. This is an important deal for FremantleMedia as we establish our scripted presence in France and I look forward to a successful creative partnership with the duo.”

Aramburu and Fontanille added in a statement: “In creating Fontaram and partnering with FremantleMedia, we are giving our new production company the best possible foundation to grow while also fulfilling our creative ambition.

“Joining an international group to produce French drama and international coproduction both broadens our opportunities and allows us to develop new content, within an environment that is constantly changing.”