STV has acquired Greenbird Media, an unscripted television production network, for £24.1m today in a “transformative” drive for greater growth across the UK and globally.
The Scottish broadcaster, which has brought popular dramas like Antiques Road Trip, Celebrity Catchphrase and Blue Lights to UK television screens, is bolstering its STV Studios production division with the purchase of Greenbird.
The deal could enable STV to treble annual profit by the end of the year, potentially up to £6.5m from £1.3m last year.
Speaking to City A.M., STV boss Simon Pitts said the Greenbird will help the group become “a more balanced, a more resilient and future-facing company,” as it allows them to focus on exciting new growth areas like content.
“It’s a transformative one for us”, the chief exec said about the acquisition, “it takes us to becoming one of the UK’s leading production groups.”
The deal significantly boosts STV Studios’ offerings, expanding its returning series from 12 to almost 40, including international shows.
New content featured on STV will include hit shows such as BBC One’s The Hit List, Apocalypse Wow on ITV, and Lego Masters on Channel 4 and Fox.
Buying Greenbird also means STV Studios can more than double its family of production labels from nine to 24.
Funded by STV’s existing resources there is a “strong financial rationale” for the deal too, Pitts added. It boosts earnings “from day one” and advances the group’s diversification in terms of both revenue and profit.
By acquiring Greenbird, STV can “comfortably exceed” its target of earning at least 50 per cent of its income from sources outside traditional linear broadcasting by the end of 2023, with a predicted diversification level closer to 60 per cent.
Shore Capital’s Roddy Davidson said “STV’s acquisition of Greenbird Media will drive a significant expansion of its already fast-growing production business.”
“We are positive on this transaction from a strategic and financial perspective as it turbo-charges the scale and growth of an already successful part of group,” he added.
The London-listed group’s shares were up slightly this morning.
“This is an exciting new chapter in Greenbird’s history,” said Greenbird founders Jamie Munro and Stuart Mullin, adding that they were looking forward to working with STV’s “unrivalled” creative power.
Some of the notable companies within Greenbird’s portfolio include Crackit Productions and Tuesday’s Child.
Greenbird provides a range of services and support to its network of creative leaders, helping them develop and produce their television shows.