June 30, 2020
London Sloane St
Digital Media and Media
GCA Altium advises AWPG on Satisfaction Group’s partnership with Sony Pictures Television, acquiring Sony’s French non-scripted business in an exclusive joint venture
GCA Altium has acted as exclusive financial advisor to AWPG on Satisfaction Group’s acquisition of 100% of Sony Pictures Television’s French activities, which includes Sony Pictures Television France and Starling, creating an exclusive 80:20 joint venture.
Satisfaction Group, part of the Arthur World Participation Group (AWPG), is a leading independent producer of content in France. Founded by TV host and producer Arthur Essebag, Satisfaction is a premier provider of reality shows in France and delivers up to six daily shows in a variety of non-scripted formats for the six main TV channels in France.
Sony Pictures Television France (SPTF) and Starling were both formerly part of Sony Pictures Television Europe, the European arm of the American TV production and distribution studio.
Satisfaction will continue to invest in and develop SPTF and Starling’s non-scripted business in France, including key formats The Newlywed Game, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Dragon’s Den and Brainiest. Satisfaction, which already exports its catalogue to nearly 40 countries around the world, will benefit from an unprecedented distribution platform outside of France, especially in North America and the United Kingdom, with Sony Pictures Television acting as its exclusive international distribution partner.
The creation of the joint venture enhances value by advancing the group’s position in France with 300 TV programmes in its catalogue. Alongside SPTF, which will be renamed Satisfy, and Starling, the group houses Satisfaction Television Agency (entertainment, studio and live), Ah! Production (reality, factual shows and documentaries), La Grosse Équipe (reality, factuals and corporate video productions) and Enibas (weather and nature shows, talk shows and corporate video productions).
Arthur Essebag, Founder of Satisfaction and AWPG, said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome Sony Pictures Television to our group. The business of entertainment has become faster moving and is ever more connected as digital distribution removes borders and barriers, and audiences are truly global. We are a major player in France, a country with huge creative and cultural success and heritage, and this partnership will allow us to continue our journey with even greater resources and capabilities. We have outstanding momentum right now and I am convinced that working with a brilliant global partner will allow us to export our creative excellence to fresh audiences. This JV represents a strategic step forward to expanding our success globally while providing significant additional opportunities in France and I look forward to realising the incredible power of our combined businesses.”
Wayne Garvie, President, International Production at Sony Pictures Television, said: “Sony Pictures Television and Satisfaction Group share an important aspiration: a desire to entertain the world with great television. Now – more than ever – the world needs great entertainment, so we are delighted to be joining up with Arthur and his fantastic team. There’s no better partner for SPTF as we look to recalibrate and reinvigorate our presence in France. This JV demonstrates our shared optimism about the future of our industry, in France and throughout the world.”
GCA Altium acted as exclusive financial advisor to AWPG throughout the process. Arthur Essebag commented: “Working with GCA Altium was a real pleasure. During the rollercoaster of negotiations the advice of the team was very helpful – they really know their stuff, and I appreciated the valuable help and advice they provided me with. They started as advisers, and we have ended as friends.”
Under the terms of the transaction Satisfaction has acquired 100% of Sony Pictures Television Production France and Starling, whilst Sony Pictures Television has acquired 20% of the newly enlarged group, accelerating Satisfaction’s international expansion efforts.