Monday 21 July 2014 2:15 am

Sky snaps up 70pc slice of Great British Bake Off maker Love Productions

Broadcasting company Sky has splashed out, acquiring a 70 per cent stake in independent production company Love Productions.

Founded in late 2004 by Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie, Love is most famous for its TV hits The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee.

Last year The Great British Bake Off became BBC Two's most-watched programme in a decade, with an average 8.4m viewers tuning in to watch people make cakes.

Love's portfolio also includes the documentaries Baby Borrowers, Benefits Street and Make Bradford British, with production bases in London, Bristol, New York and Los Angeles.

Sky assures viewers that Love will continue "to operate as a distinct company under its new ownership structure", continuing to produce content for all major UK broadcasters. The investment is part of the broadcaster's strategy to "grow a broad, international content business spanning broadcasting, production and distribution", according to Sky's press release.

McKerrow and Beattie, joint chief creative officers at Love, say that they are "extremely excited by the prospect of a partnership with Sky". Sky's international distribution business – Sky Vision – is to become Love's distribution partner, to bring the company's shows to other networks and producers around the world.

Shares in Sky fell by around 0.5 per cent as markets opened after the news.