Cap on the events for Banijay. THE audiovisual production giant (behind flagship programs like “Survivor”, “Masterchef”, “Peaky Blinders”, “Big Brother” etc.) acquires 51% of Balich Wonder Studio.
Founded in 2013 and based in Milan, Balich creates “live” events for institutions or brands. For example, the ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Rio (scenography, music, costumes etc.) or the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup, it is them; shows with a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show, it’s them again. And Balich will be in the consortium organizing the closing ceremony of the Paris Olympics. The company, with around 280 people, will post a turnover of 315 million euros in 2022. Its Ebitda (operating result) would be around forty million euros.
The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed, but according to sources familiar with the matter, Balich Wonder Studio would be worth around 200-250 million in enterprise value (ie with debt). This new acquisition – Banijay has made almost twenty since the start of 2022 – is the largest in size since of the juggernaut EndemolShine in 2019.
For Banijay, it is a diversification, in the straight line of entry into the capital in The Independents a French group specializing in events and digital marketing in fashion, luxury and lifestyle, announced a few days ago.
“It’s the start of a new line of business, building on our core business. We will soon appoint a new boss for this branch, explains François Riahi, director of FL Entertainment, parent company of Banijay and Betclic. Balich finally has a profession quite similar to ours of creating shows, as we do for major entertainment on television. It sells turnkey events with a cost and margins determined in advance”.
The two groups imagine possible synergies such as the television coverage of a major show organized by Balich or, on the contrary, the organization of “live” events around flagship fiction produced by Banijay. There will also be synergies with The Independents. “There is a strong demand for live, since the Covid. People want to share emotions,” adds Marco Balich, president of the eponymous company. The latter expects more than a doubling of its turnover within five years (around 700 million euros), benefiting in particular from the international presence of Banijay.
And Stéphane Courbit’s group still sees itself making acquisitions in this sector. “There is still consolidation to be done, as we did in television production, always remaining on B to B (for professionals) as in the audiovisual sector”, concludes François Riahi.