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Press Release

Fieldfisher advises BBC Studios on its acquisition of House Productions

17/12/2021

Locations

United Kingdom

The firm acted for longstanding client BBC Studios on upping its 25% stake to full ownership of the independent production company behind hit dramas such as Brexit – The Uncivil War and the forthcoming BBC One crime thriller, Sherwood.
 
European law firm Fieldfisher acted for BBC Studios, a global content company and commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group, on its acquisition of leading UK TV and film production company, House Productions.
 
The Fieldfisher team, comprising corporate, tax, share incentives, real estate and media specialists, was led by corporate partner Carlton Durrant and corporate associate Alice Taylor.
 
House Productions, launched in 2016 by former Head of Film 4 Tessa Ross and Working Title TV Head Juliette Howell, has fast built a reputation for innovative and exciting high-end drama, bringing the best of film and television together to create quality storytelling.
 
The company has enjoyed an exponential period of growth over the last 18 months, working with streamers and terrestrial broadcasters.

House Productions has an enviable slate including four TV shows in various stages of production for major broadcasters and two new dramas soon to be announced as well as several film projects soon to be fully financed and in production from 2022. Previous and forthcoming projects include:

  • Collaborating with award-winning playwright James Graham on EMMY nominated Brexit - The Uncivil War starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the forthcoming BBC One crime thriller, Sherwood;

  • Working with BAFTA award-winning director John Crowley on the much anticipated Bash Doran adaptation of the Kate Atkinson bestseller Life After Life;

  • Working with Sebastian Lelio on his forthcoming Netflix feature The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh; and

  • Working on Stephen Butchard’s The Good Mothers, a Star Original for Disney+, for which pre-production has started in Italy.

The acquisition of House Productions is another notable addition to BBC Studios’ expanding portfolio of UK production companies, which includes equity stakes in 12 independent production companies, including full ownership of Clerkenwell Films and Lookout Point and a majority stake in Sid Gentle Films and Baby Cow Productions.

BBC Studios is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group, supporting the licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences. 

The company, which ordinarily makes around 2,000 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Netflix and Migu, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles.
 
Commenting on the acquisition, Fieldfisher corporate partner Carlton Durrant said:
 
"It was a pleasure to support Matt Garside, Managing Director of Content Partnerships, and the rest of the BBC Studios team on this exciting acquisition.
 
"The media M&A landscape is incredibly buoyant at present, reflecting the success of the British creative sector supported by the likes of BBC Studios in meeting global demand for compelling drama and film. Fieldfisher is delighted to be at the heart at many of the deals that are shaping the development of this sector.
 
"Congratulations to BBC Studios on successfully completing this acquisition."

About Fieldfisher
 
Fieldfisher is a European law firm built around its people. We are a full-service firm with market-leading practices in energy and natural resources, technology, financial services and life sciences.
Our network of more than 1,700 expert people spans 25 offices in 11 countries, including our US and China locations, acting alongside our international partner firms, enabling us to advise clients around the world with seamless efficiency and dedication across time zones and disciplines.
 
A Times Top 20 Law Firm, we are highly commended by the European Financial Times Innovative Lawyers rankings and repeatedly nominated for awards in areas including dispute resolution, public and regulatory, M&A and IP.
 
Our lawyers are consistently recognised by legal directories as leading professionals in their areas of specialism and we are ranked tier 1 or 2 in a number of our key practice areas.

For more information about our firm, please see: About | Fieldfisher.

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