BBC Studios has upped its 25% stake in “Brexit: The Uncivil War” producer House Productions to take full ownership of the London-based production company.
Launched in 2016 by the former head of Film 4 Tessa Ross (pictured, right) and Working Title TV boss Juliette Howell (left), the company specializes in both film and TV with forthcoming credits including BBC One thriller “Sherwood”; an adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s bestselling novel “Life After Life”; Netflix feature film “The Wonder,” starring Florence Pugh, and “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle”; and Disney Plus original “The Good Mothers” for Star.
Two more TV dramas are in the works, along with several film projects that will be fully financed and in production from 2022.
The full acquisition marks another heavy-hitting domestic investment for BBC Studios, which now has equity stakes in 12 independent production companies, including full ownership of “The End of the F—ing World” outfit Clerkenwell Films and “War and Peace” producer Lookout Point, along with a majority stake in “Killing Eve” producer Sid Gentle Films and “Gavin and Stacey” banner Baby Cow Productions.
The deal was negotiated by Laura Franses on behalf of House Productions (advised by Tom Manwaring of Helion Partners) and Matt Garside, managing director of content partnerships for BBC Studios.
The House Productions pact arrives as M&A activity around scripted production outfits in the U.K. slowly begins gearing up again after something of a dormant period during COVID. Sony recently acquired “His Dark Materias” and “Doctor Who” producer Bad Wolf, just over a year after snapping up “Sex Education” outfit Eleven Films. In what was another major deal, Endeavor Content bought “The Night Manager” indie The Ink Factory just ahead of the pandemic.
Ross and Howell said: “We are really thrilled to have solidified our partnership with BBC Studios in this wholehearted way. We know how lucky we are to have partners in them who share not just our ambition for growth and scale, but also for the way in which we achieve that growth, for the people we work with and the stories we tell.
“It’s a fantastic time to be creating compelling drama for both the small and big screen that connects with the widest audience across the globe. We’re excited to continue building on this success, with the talented people we are lucky enough to work with, both inside and outside the company,” said Ross and Howell.
BBC Studios chief creative officer Mark Linsey said: “We’re delighted to be taking full ownership of House Productions — which exemplifies bold, British, creativity — and to continue to support Tessa and Juliette’s immense creative ingenuity and vision. Their storytelling and the quality of their productions are outstanding and we are incredibly excited by the content they have in development.
“House is a strong complement to our existing portfolio of indie labels, further strengthening our TV drama offering and international film industry presence as part of our mission to support the British creative sector and take the very best ideas to audiences around the world.”
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