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Zodiak Rights in $150m scripted pact

Scripted-logo-460_2David RaymondBanijay Group’s sales arm, Zodiak Rights, has closed a deal with British writer-director David Raymond (pictured) that is “anticipated to garner US$150 million of scripted content”.

Zodiak Rights has closed the first look finance and distribution deal with Arise Pictures, which LA-based Raymond runs with executive producer and film financier Chris Pettit (below, right).

The US$150 million figured will be harvested from Arise’s slate of high-end scripted content. The first series under the deal is expected to go into production “later this year”, though further details were not forthcoming.

The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, marks the first major agreement from the new Banijay Group, which was created upon the merger of Banijay and Zodiak Media.
Arise has a slate of around 25 projects across drama, action and family entertainment.

“For me the great thing here is the creative support,” said Raymond. “By collaborating with a global partner we have been able to create a flexible commercial framework which puts the creatives first and molds the finance plan around the project’s individual requirements. It’s liberating and gives us a platform to focus on narrative and hopefully create content that audiences are going to want to return to.”

ZChris Pettitodiak Rights’ Caroline Torrance and Chris Stewart brokered the deal with Arise, which is repped by Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher. United Agents represents Raymond in the UK.

“David is brilliant at creating original, returnable series with global appeal and Arise comes equipped with a slate of content which perfectly aligns with the Banijay Group scripted strategy,” said Tim Mutimer, head of distribution, Banijay Group.

“We are delighted to be working together to utilise the international distribution channels of the newly merged group to help bring these projects to the market.”

Mutimer was named as Zodiak Rights’ sales chief at the expense of Emmnauelle Namiech, who was today revealed as CEO of UK-based distribution Passion.

The new Banijay Group is 73.8% owned by a company that LOV Group’s Stephane Courbit owns 50.1% of and DeA Communications 49.9%. Vivendi owns the outstanding 26.2%.