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Fremantle Acquires Israeli Banner Silvio Productions, Guy Hameiri to Preside Over Banner

L-R: Mika Timor, Yotam Guendelman, Andrea Scrosati & Guy Hameiri

Fremantle has acquired a majority stake in Silvio Productions, the Israeli production outfit behind hit documentary series such as “Shadow of Truth” and Showtime’s “Buried” which earned an Emmy nomination.

Silvio Productions, previously known as EGG Films, was founded by the award-winning Israeli filmmakers Yotam Guendelman and Mika Timor.

The acquisition of Silvio Productions underscores Fremantle’s commitment to grow its presence in the premium documentary landscape and invest in talent-driven production companies.

The deal was spearheaded by Andrea Scrosati, group COO and continental Europe CEO of Fremantle, and Guy Hameiri, co-founder of Abot Hameiri, the Fremantle-owned Israeli banner behind Netflix’s hit drama series “Shtisel,” and local adaptations of “Got Talent,” “Survivor” and “The X Factor.”

Under the deal, Hameiri is tapped to be chairman of Silvio Productions, with Guendelman and Timor reporting into him. Guendelman and Timor will collaborate and work closely with Abot Hameiri.

Silvio Production’s “Shadow of Truth” premiered on the Israeli channel HOT and was subsequently picked up by Netflix for worldwide distribution. One of the most-watched true-crime shows on Netflix, the series won several awards, including the 2017 Israeli Academy Television Awards for best documentary series.

Recent productions include “Buried” which follows the story of Eileen Franklin who suddenly remembered witnessing the murder of her childhood best friend, and “The Baby Daddy,” which follows Ari Nagel, a math professor and the father of 117 children. “The Baby Daddy” had its international premiere in Austin Film Festival, and its Israeli premiere in DocAviv Festival.

“This is a truly unique opportunity for us. To join forces with the incredibly talented Fremantle team, with its unrivalled international infrastructure, and to work with Guy and the Abot Hameiri team, who are without doubt one of the best production companies in Israel,” said Silvio Production’s co-founders, Yotam Guendelman and Mika Timor.

“The cultural, creative, and business rationale is natural (…). With their support and the global reach of Fremantle, we will take our business growth trajectory and our ambitious slate to the next level,” Guendelman and Timor continued.

Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle’s group COO and CEO in continental Europe, said “Yotam and Mika and the team at Silvio Productions have a proven track-record and take great pride in their filmmaking and storytelling.”

Scrosati said Fremantle looks to “scale-up (its) global documentaries capabilities.” “I would like to thank Guy (Hameiri) for his leadership and continued focus in growing and optimizing our valued business and IP in Israel,” added Scorsati. The executive pointed “Silvio Productions will perfectly complement Abot Hameiri’s premium scripted and formats divisions.”

Guy Hameiri, co-founder of Abot Hameiri, said Yotam and Mika “bring creative excellence, and a real flair for important storytelling.”

“Their projects not only connect with a local audience, but importantly globally, which has been recognised by international outlets including Showtime and Netflix,” continued Hameiri.

Fremantle, which is now established across 27 territories, has been on an acquisition spree for the last year. Its recent deals include the U.K. production company Dancing Ledge (“The Responder”), scripted Italian production company Lux Vide (“Devils”), international development and production company Fabel (“Bosch”), Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (“Parental Guidance”), and 12 Scandinavian production labels from Nordic Entertainment Group, Irish production company Element Pictures (“Normal People”), and most recently, 72 Films (“All or Nothing: Arsenal”) and factual content banner Wildstar Films.

Fremantle, which is owned by Bertelsmann and Rtl Group, has expanded scripted in the last year and is now ramping up their presence in the non-scripted arena. The company is targeting to reach full-year revenue to €3 billion by 2025.

Variety's Elsa Keslassy contributed to this post.

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