ITV has paid $531 million to acquire John de Mol’s Talpa Media, the Dutch reality TV powerhouse behind such U.S. hits as The Voice and Big Brother as well as a host of international formats and franchises.
If certain financial targets are hit over an eight-year period and de Mol stays with the company, the deal could rise to $1.2 billion. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter pending regulatory approval.
In 2005, John de Mol established Talpa Media, which has been responsible for U.S. hit The Voice, in its eighth season, and international hits The Voice Kids, I Love My Country and Dating in the Dark.
Talpa Media also produced misfire Utopia, which, despite being a major part of Fox’s fall-season strategy, had its run cut early.
“Great content is at the heart of ITV’s growth strategy and the acquisition of Talpa builds on the success of our international content business and is absolutely in line with our desire to create and own formats that travel,” said Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV. “John de Mol and his team have an incredible track record of doing that consistently over many years and I’m delighted to welcome them to the ITV family.”
ITV bolstered its U.S. presence by launching ITV Studios America in 2013, which was led by Paul Buccieri who has since left for A+E Networks. Additionally, ITV bought a majority stake in Leftfield Entertainment, which is responsible for such shows as Pawn Stars and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.