ITV spends £19m on US producer Thinkfactory

Marion Dakers
ITV bought a controlling stake in a US reality television specialist yesterday, in the firm’s latest overseas programming purchase.

The company will pay $30m (£19.2m) for a 65 per cent stake in Thinkfactory Media, and has an option to buy the remaining 35 per cent.

Thinkfactory counts among its programme credits Dogg after Dark, a chat show hosted by rapper Snoop Dogg; Gene Simmons Family Jewels, a reality show that follows the life of the Kiss frontman; and Mounted in Alaska, a series about Arctic taxidermists that airs on the History Channel.

The founder of Thinkfactory, Leslie Greif, is the co-creator of Walker Texas Ranger, starring Chuck Norris.

“We’re gathering real momentum in building a substantial US presence, which is central to our strategy of creating a strong international content business,” said ITV chief executive Adam Crozier yesterday.

Yesterday’s purchase is the latest in a string of deals since Crozier took the reins in mid-2011, as the firm attempts to offset falling advertising revenues with growth in its studio operations.

The deal comes two months after ITV splashed out £17m on a 60 per cent stake in High Noon Entertainment, the production house behind reality hits such as Hurricane Hunters and Cake Boss.

Other recent deals include the £17m purchase of Graham Norton’s production firm So Television, a £26m deal for Duck Dynasty producer Gurney, and the acquisition of The Garden, the creator of docu-series Inside Claridge’s, for £18m.