Banijay to build media and entertainment powerhouse with Balich Wonder Studio
– Leading Content Producer and Publisher Acquires Unique and Prestigious Live Entertainment Business –
Paris, 15 June 2023: Banijay announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Balich Wonder Studio. The transaction will create a preeminent global media and entertainment powerhouse, combining the strengths of an established world-renowned content group with the pioneering capabilities of a live entertainment player.
Banijay has cemented its position as a leading content powerhouse, cultivating a creative footprint spanning 21 territories and 130 labels over the years. In the latest phase of this transformational growth, it will combine the creative and commercial strengths of two unique companies to create differentiated offerings in media and entertainment.
Founded in 2013 as a creative agency, Milan-based Balich Wonder Studio has quickly grown into a renowned live event creator and service provider, dabbling in a wide range of institutional ceremonies, brands and destination experiences. A leading reference and choice for top live entertainment events, it holds the top spot globally, acclaimed for hosting the world’s largest number of Olympic opening ceremonies and other prestigious events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar; Peru 2019 and 2023 The Opening Ceremony of the Pan American Games in Chile in 2016; the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (CC2016); and the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics and the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games in 2014. In addition, it hosts a series of exclusive events for top brands including Louis Vuitton, Formula 1, Ferrari, Dolce & Gabbana, UEFA, MSC, Maserati, Bulgari, IWC, Azimut Benetti and many more. Balich Wonder Studio has posted revenues of €315 million for 2022.
The deal will bring together the creative power of Banijay’s global talent pool, led by CEO Marco Bassetti, with the proven expertise of Balich Wonder Studio’s leading live entertainment team, led by its founders Marco Balich, Gianmaria Serra and Simone Merico , CEO Stefano Core, and partners and luxury specialists Carolina Dotti and Valentina Saluzzi. As a complementary alliance, the transaction will mark a new era and further growth for both parties’ businesses.
Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer of Banijay, said: “Balich’s ambition and entrepreneurial spirit complement ours, Balich has become a leader in the live events space, and through this acquisition there is enormous potential for further ground-breaking growth. We feel fortunate that the team has chosen Partner with us on this groundbreaking initiative and can already see how together we can build even more creative and commercial synergies to solidify the collective position as a media and entertainment powerhouse.By combining our businesses we will create a A unique universe of global premium content, the world’s most high-profile ceremonies and events – ultimately, a one-stop shop for ideas.”
Marco Balich, Chairman of Balich Wonder Studio, said: “We are delighted that a world-class player like Banijay has chosen a committed creative team with the ambition to become the most prestigious live entertainment group in the world. Together we feel empowered to accelerate this A journey. We share a passion for creativity, the ability to create extraordinary content and communicate emotion, culture and beauty as pillars for building a better world. Today, after a decade of extraordinary growth, we look forward to an exciting future, We are excited to continue to inspire wonder all over the world.”
As a creative studio, Live Entertainment Group has also been involved in the development of many public destinations, creating resident and aquatic shows, immersive experiences and landmark icons such as the Expo logo – the famous “Tree of Life”, and The ‘Whale Shark’, a 30-meter-long sign, will be hoisted in Doha in 2022 to represent the country’s emphasis on protecting the natural environment.
Balich Wonder Studio’s healthy portfolio of successful businesses includes two brands with operational offices in Europe and the Middle East, one of the fastest growing and most important markets for the premium event management industry. At the forefront of innovation, the ESG-committed live events specialist has rapidly expanded its offerings and footprint and is now poised for further creative expansion with Banijay.
The acquisition is still subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the coming months.
For further inquiries please contact:
Kate Humphreys, Head of Global Communications, Banijay
Tel: +44 7792 222769
Federica Moscheni, Head of Communications, Balich Wonder Studio
Tel: +39 333 4758256
Caroline Cohen, Head of Investor Relations, FL Entertainment
Tel: +33 1 44 95 23 34
Hugues Boeton (FL Entertainment)
Tel: +33 6 79 99 27 15
Content giant Banijay has more than 130 production companies in 21 territories, and its multi-genre catalog boasts more than 160,000 hours of outstanding original programming.
The group is a group of creative entrepreneurs representing some of the biggest global brands in the market, including Survivor, Big Brother, Peaky Blinders, Master Chef, Rogue Heroes, Marie Antoinette, Mr. Bean, Triangle Love, Hunt, Black Mirror, Blow Up! , and Starstruck etc. Conceptualizing and delivering high-quality multi-genre IP born locally and going global, the business tells the best stories in the best possible way.
Founded in 2008, the company is built on independence, creative freedom, collaborative entrepreneurship and business acumen, and operates under the leadership of CEO Marco Bassetti.
About Balich Wonder Studio
Balich Wonder Studio is an integrated entertainment group that conceives, produces and delivers live experiences. The studio creates visionary projects with long-term value, from large-scale ceremonies to immersive performances, from branded events to destination experiences. A unique approach is based on emotion as the ultimate value, generated through unique creativity and impeccable execution.
Born in 2013, the group is a global leader in large institutional events, driven by the talent and skills of a multicultural team of more than 280 people from 20 countries; it operates in Europe and the Middle East through 4 divisions: Ceremonies, Destination experiences, immersive shows and brand experiences. In 2022, Balich Wonder Studio’s revenue will be 315 million euros.
About Florida Entertainment
Founded by 30-year entertainment industry pioneer and entrepreneur Stéphane Courbit, FL Entertainment Group is a global leader in multimedia content and games, combining the strengths of Banijay, the world’s largest independent producer-publisher, and the fastest growing Betclic Everest Group European online sports betting platform. In 2022, FL Entertainment recorded consolidated revenue and adjusted EBITDA through Banijay and Betclic Everest Group of EUR 4,047 million and EUR 670 million, respectively. FL Entertainment will be listed on Euronext Amsterdam in July 2022.
ISIN: NL0015000X07 – Bloomberg: FLE NA – Reuters: FLE.AS