Musical producer

Fremantle Takes Majority Stake in ‘The Favourite’ and ‘Conversations With Friends’ Producer Element Pictures

In another mega M&A deal, Freemantle took a majority stake in Irish The favourite, Room and Conversations with friends producer Item Pictures.

The company, one of the most prolific and respected on the European drama circuit, joins the list of Fremantle theater producers, including The answering machine indie Dancing Ledge Productions, recently majority-owned by Fremantle, and Italian powerhouse Lux Vide.

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Fremantle said the move underscores the “strategic plan to invest in and grow high-end production companies and creative talent around the world.” The global producer-distributor has recently signed deals with artists like Angelina Jolie as it tries to expand its global footprint.

Run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe and based in London, Dublin and Belfast, Element is behind the BBC Three/Hulu series conversation between friends, which comes out this week, after similarly adapting Sally Rooney’s normal people critically acclaimed. It also produces BBC dramas The gallows pole by Shane Meadows in association with Euphoria A24 producer.

On the feature side, the company won Oscars/BAFTAs and nominations for Olivia Colman starring Olivia Colman The favourite and Room, which was led by normal people director Lenny Abrahamson. Past credits include The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Lobster from Favorites Yorgos Lanthimos and indie are working on another Lanthimos film, Searchlight Pictures’ poor things, with Netflix wonderment by Sebastian Lelio.

The Element deal was spearheaded by Fremantle Group COO and Continental Europe CEO Andrea Scrosati, along with De Maio Entertainment’s Lorenzo De Maio. De Maio, owned by Fremantle, will be a strategic advisor and partner for the entire range of Element Pictures

Scrosati said that Guiney and Lowe’s Element “fall into the category of the best creative minds in the business.”

“They have built an amazing company, which has become one of the most exciting and innovative creative production companies in Europe,” he added. “We look forward to working closely with their immensely talented creators, helping them build on their slate of high-quality, sophisticated and powerful productions.”

Noting that Element turns 21 this year, Guiney said “it’s incredibly exciting for us and our wonderful colleagues to enter a new and ambitious phase of growth.”

“We are huge fans of the people of Fremantle, their vision for the future and the amazing talent they work with in film and TV.”

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