Seven sells Seven Studios UK to Beyond International

Seven has offloaded the UK arm of its Seven Studios production house, selling the business to Australia and UK-based distributor and producer Beyond International.

Beyond International also acquired the remaining 50.98% of shares in LA-based 7Beyond that it did not previously hold.

Both businesses will be rebranded as Beyond Productions and staff will report to Beyond Productions’ GM and EVP John Luscombe.

Seven CEO James Warburton said the sale formed part of Seven’s plans for the ‘transformation’ of its business. It was widely known Seven was trying to sell its Seven Studios business before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with rumours Amazon was one of the interested parties, but that was put on hold. It was thought $400m could be fetched for the entire asset should its sale arise.

“As part of our ongoing transformation, we’ve reassessed our appetite for investment in offshore production interests and have elected to divest Seven Studios UK and our interest in the 7Beyond JV. Our longstanding relationship with Beyond International makes them a natural partner to acquire these assets,” said Warburton.

“As part of the divestment, Seven will retain a participation in current projects, as well as all onshore production interests. Seven is proud of these two businesses and the projects that came out of them and welcomes the strengthened business arrangement that will continue with Beyond in the future.”

Seven Studios CEO Therese Hegarty left the business earlier this year with the financial impact of COVID-19 blamed for her departure.

Seven Studios UK is currently producing Pooch Perfect for BBC One and led by former BBC Studios exec Damon Pattison. Pattison will continue to work with head of development Nikki Pinkus and head of production Claire Browne.

Mikael Borglund, CEO and MD of Beyond International, said: “This is an exciting time for Beyond. We have already expanded our distribution business this year with the acquisition of TCB Media Rights and its extensive catalogue, and now we are adding to and strengthening our production capabilities in two of the world’s creative centres.”


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