Fremantle, one the world’s largest and most successful creators, producers, and distributors of premium content, has acquired 70 percent of Lux Vide, Italy’s leading independent television production company.
Launched in 1992, Lux Vide has established itself as one of Italy’s most prestigious and successful high-quality producers, with over 1,300 hours of prime-time original scripted content viewed in 144 countries worldwide.
Over three decades, Lux Vide has rapidly grown to become a prolific production, and development powerhouse, creating distinctive premium scripted content, and delivering consistent commercial success both domestically and internationally, with deals including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky. Lux Vide owns five state-of-the-art studios, based outside Rome, making it the only independent Italian television production studio with over 6,000 m2 of set space.
The acquisition of Lux Vide forms part of Fremantle’s wider international growth strategy to invest in premium production companies, content creators, and talent from around the world – developing and securing original formats and unmissable IP.
Lux Vide became the first Italian company to win an Emmy Award with the film Joseph from The Bible Collection and Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for its co-production Coco Chanel. Acclaimed international successes include hit series: Medici starring Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden and Sean Bean (Netflix); Leonardo starring Aidan Turner and Matilda De Angelis (Amazon Prime); and Devils the high-stakes financial thriller starring Patrick Dempsey and Alessandro Borghi (Sky).
Hit original scripted series produced by Lux Vide include: The Bible Collection – sold in 144 countries; Don Matteo – now in its thirteenth season; DOC – the medical drama becoming RAI’s highest rate series in 15 years; Buongiorno, mamma! – Mediaset’s most watched series in the last 3 years. Other hit series include: One Step from Heaven (Un passo dal cielo); Back To The Island (L’Isola di Pietro); Sister Angela’s Girls (Che Dio ci aiuti), and the recent ratings success of Blanca winner of the ‘DQ Drama Award 2021’ for most innovative TV series.
Under the deal, the Bernabei family will retain the remaining 30 percent. Luca Bernabei will continue as CEO of Lux Vide, the company founded in 1992 by Ettore and Matilde Bernabei. The acquisition was spearheaded by Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle Group COO and CEO Continental. Scrosati will assume the role of Chairman of Lux Vide, while Matilde Bernabei will become Honorary Chairman and also serve on the Management Board.
Luca Bernabei, Lux Vide CEO said: “The Lux Vide collaboration with Fremantle confirms our long-term global strategy and international vision. We are excited to now be joining forces and partnering with Andrea Scrosati, who we have built a much valued and trusted relationship over many years, and the incredibly talented Fremantle team. The synergies between the two companies are clear to see and everyone within the Lux Vide team are looking forward to embracing this new partnership and the many opportunities it represents to us all. The Bernabei family will remain at the helm of the company proudly founded by my father Ettore, as shareholders, as managers, but above all as reference points for our creativity, editorial line, and our incredible production team. A team that has achieved consistent successes over three decades and is now committed and firmly focused on the future and building the exciting next chapter as part of an even larger family at Fremantle.”
Andrea Scrosati, Group COO, CEO Continental Europe said: “Fremantle is a business based on unique talent, creative ideas, and a capacity to brilliantly deliver, working with the right partners across the world. We are proud and honoured that the incredible talent at Lux Vide have chosen to be part of our family. To share with us their professionalism, their ideas, and their vision. I have no doubt that together we will deliver many extraordinary shows to a global stage, continuing to make the Fremantle slate even stronger. This deal underlines Fremantle’s strategic plan to invest and grow in the scripted arena, a strategy that enabled the company to deliver 81 scripted shows across the world in 2021. A special thanks to Luca, Matilde and Roberto Bernabei, for choosing to share with us their passion and the company their father created 30 years ago”.
Lux Vide is the latest acquisition for Fremantle and its growing global drama business. Previous investments include acquiring the 12 former Nent Studios production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark (now rebranded This is Nice Group); Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance, Finding Magic Mike); Italian-based Wildside and The Apartment (My Brilliant Friend, The New Pope, The Hand of God); UK-based Naked Entertainment (Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedophile, Planet Sex); Scandi label Miso Film (The Rain); French label Kwai (The Last Wave) and Israeli creative powerhouse Abot Hameiri (Shtisel) as well as a minority stake in the UK labels Dancing Ledge Productions (The Salisbury Poisonings, The Responder) and Wild Blue Media (Arctic Drift).
Last August, RTL Group announced its aim to increase Fremantle’s full-year revenue target to €3 billion by 2025. The acquisition of Lux Vide forms part of Fremantle’s wider growth strategy to invest in production companies, content and talent around the world to source the best creative ideas, develop and create strong and unmissable IP.