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Banijay takes stake in new Italian prodco

Formats-logo-460_2DRY Dont Repeat YourselfFrance-based Banijay Group has acquired a minority stake in new Italian producer DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself).

DRY’s creators – Fabrizio Ievolella, Danila Battaglini, Francesco Lauber and Leopoldo Gasparotto – have produced local versions of international formats such as Masterchef and X Factor.

Banijay said they plan to use this experience to create original formats for Italian and international markets across terrestrial, pay, DTT and digital TV platforms.

The four DRY founders are ex-management of Banijay-owned Magnolia Italy.

Ievolella, who will be the new firm’s managing director, was the prodco’s head of content. Battaglini was Magnolia’s head of production and is operations director, while Lauber was head of development and becomes DRY’s head of development. Gasparotto will be programme director, having been Magnolia’s editorial curator.

DRY, whose name is a nod to remaining original in development, will sit alongside fellow Italian prodcos Ambra Banijay Italia, Aurora TV, Magnolia and NonPanic in the Banijay stable.

Marco Bassetti founded Ambra in 2012, bringing it with him when he became company CEO a year later, while Aurora is a co-venture of Ambra and former Rai head of fiction Giannandrea Pecorelli. Formats veteran Filippo Cipriano founded NonPanic in 2013.

Magnolia joined the stable when Banijay merged with Zodiak Media last year.

“Banijay Group is at the forefront of ground-breaking and original content production,” said Bassetti. “There is a great deal of creativity emanating from the highly motivated management team at DRY and we look forward to working closely with them and to effectively rolling out innovative formats around the world.”

DRY MD Ievolella said DRY name was chose for a “specific reason”. “We know that experience is important, but sometimes involves the risk to become stuck in a rut. That’s why our goal is not to repeat ourselves and look to invent something new.”