FremantleMedia, a British international television content and production/distribution subsidiary of Bertelsmann’s (FRA:BTGGg) RTL Group, Europe’s largest TV, radio, and production company, has acquired a 51 per cent majority stake in Abot Hameiri, a leading Israeli production company specializing in entertainment formats, scripted reality and drama.

Abot Hameiri was founded in 2006 and has produced local versions of some of the biggest international entertainment formats such as The X Factor, Survivor and Amazing Race. The company also has a strong track record of developing and producing its own formats, including Power Couple which has been sold to Brazil, China, South Africa, Germany, Portugal and Italy. The company’s scripted output includes the popular two-series Shtisel and the drama success A Good Family.

Co-founders Eitan Abot and Guy Hameiri are established television executives: Abot has more than 20 years’ experience and previously owned one of the largest television studios in Israel, MTVS Studios. Hameiri was Commercial VP at MTVS and prior to that, CEO of Look Talent Agency.

The company is a key strategic acquisition for FremantleMedia as they sought a partner who had a complementary creative approach and strong relationships within the thriving broadcast and production community in Israel. Abot Hameiri will be FremantleMedia’s creative hub in Israel, providing a strong pipeline of content which FremantleMedia can then produce and distribute through its international global network.

“Israel is a highly creative market and this acquisition gives us the perfect entry point into Israel given Abot Hameiri’s established relationships with broadcasters and talent, breadth of genre offering and creative fit,” said Sangeeta Desai, COO and CEO emerging markets at Fremantle.

This acquisition is the latest in a string of investments from FremantleMedia, including entertainment indies Man Alive Entertainment and Naked Entertainment in the UK; factual companies Full Fat TV (UK) and No Pictures Please (Netherlands); scripted outfits Corona Pictures (UK), Fontaram (France), Kwai (France), and Wildside (Italy); and reality producer 495 Productions (US). Earlier investments in scripted producer Miso Films (Nordics) and native digital media company Divimove (Europe) have also contributed to FremantleMedia’s growth.

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