Banijay Group Embarks on Adventure with Bear Grylls and Delbert Shoopman
Pair join global player to create The Natural Studios, making Banijay the premier home of adventure programming worldwide.
Cannes, Monday 14 October 2019: Banijay Group, the world's leading independent content producer and distributor, today announces the launch of new production label, The Natural Studios, from Bear Grylls and Delbert Shoopman. As the premiere home of adventure, the new prodco will be a global go-to adventure TV / Film production studio across all platforms, further bolstering the Group's position in this space.
The Natural Studios, which is "now open for business", is led by Grylls and Shoopman as co-CEOs. Backed and funded by Banijay Group, which serves as production and distribution partner, the deal will see the pair build the business into the ultimate 'Home of Adventure', where they will develop original IP with mass global appeal and nurture the next generation of adrenaline-fueled TV stars worldwide.
While Grylls and Shoopman benefit from direct access to Banijay Group's global production and distribution network, they will maintain full strategic control with the view to building an international production powerhouse responsible for serving traditional and digital platforms worldwide with both non-scripted and scripted content.
The latest launch further cements Banijay Group's position as a global leader in the adventure space, having built a strong reputation to date with brands including Survivor, 71 Degrees North, Fort Boyard, The Crystal Maze, SAS: Who Dares Wins and Stars on the Rocks.
Collectively, Grylls and Shoopman's shows have been watched by over 2 billion people worldwide, with an aggregated audience of 120 million for Running Wild (US). And most recently, 3.6 billion online impressions were secured when Grylls embarked on an adventure with Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. The Natural Studios' current slate of shows includes Emmy-nominated Hostile Planet (Nat Geo), Eco-Challenge (Amazon), Running Wild with Bear Grylls (Nat Geo), Emmy-nominated You Vs Wild (Netflix) and BAFTA-winning series, The Island (C4).
Bear Grylls comments: "It has been an incredible journey for Delbert and I to get to the stage where we can build out our adventure shows under our own Studio. We stand on the shoulders of many giants. The ACF Investment Bank team have been incredible guides through the process - at its heart this is about building the ultimate home of adventure programming worldwide.
"The Natural Studios will be providing a home for the best adventure talent to help them create shows with us that inspire and move people to go for it in their lives and to never give up."
Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay Group comments: "In a crowded marketplace, with many new players, only strong talents can cut through and as the face of adventure globally, Bear does just this. Both he and Del bring an incredibly strong portfolio and track record in this space and fit harmoniously with our existing catalogue of world-class adventure entertainment brands.
"Further bolstering our strong expertise in the adventure field, and instantly building our audiences worldwide, The Natural Studios was the perfect fit for us and supports our organic growth strategy internationally. Already open for business, we are confident the new label has a strong path ahead and we look forward to collaborating on building an even bigger following for their brands across the globe."
The deal was brokered by ACF Investment Bank, as advisors to Grylls and Shoopman.
Notes to editors:
BEAR GRYLLS - THE SUCCESS STORY
Bear Grylls, has become known worldwide as one of the most-recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure.
The BAFTA-winning TV host began his journey in the British Special Forces (21 SAS) before becoming one of the youngest-ever climbers of Mount Everest.
Bear is the author of over 85 books that have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, including the No. 1 bestselling Mud, Sweat, and Tears.
Bear originally starred in Discovery's hit TV series Man vs. Wild across seven seasons, before hosting the NBC & National Geographic Channel series, Running Wild with Bear Grylls. This show has seen him take global stars such as Julia Roberts, Ben Stiller, President Obama & Prime Minister Modi of India on adventures into the wild.
Bear has also hosted over six seasons of the BAFTA-winning Channel 4 series, The Island with Bear Grylls, as well as the Emmy-nominated series Hostile Planet for National Geographic and You Vs Wild for Netflix.
Delbert has been a constant producing partner alongside Bear for over a decade, helping to grow and build these international formats into the much-loved shows they are today.
Bear is a co-owner of the largest outdoor fitness company in Europe: Be Military Fit, the global teamwork and leadership provider: Bear Grylls Survival Academy and other exciting ventures such as the Bear Grylls Adventure theme park.
Bear is an Honorary Colonel to the Royal Marines Commandos, the youngest ever UK Chief Scout and the first ever Chief Ambassador to the World Scout Movement, representing a global family of some fifty million Scouts.
Bear and Delbert's motto is courage, kindness and Never Give Up!
About Banijay Group
Banijay Group is a global production and distribution company creating premium content for television and multimedia platforms in all genres including entertainment, drama, factual, reality, docudrama and kids programming. With leading production entities in 16 territories, the Group is engaged in strategic partnerships with the best creative talent around the world.
The business is a confederation of entrepreneurs – encompassing Creativity, Innovation, and Professionalism. Banijay Group unifies talent and personalities, spreading ideas and formats all over the world. Key programmes and formats include Versailles, The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds, Temptation Island, Survivor, Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Real World, Fort Boyard, The Restaurant, Wife Swap, Catch! and Occupied among many others.
Banijay Group is controlled by a company composed of Stéphane Courbit's LOV Group and DeA Communications – a company belonging to De Agostini Group, with Vivendi owning a minority part of the total Group. Banijay Group operates under the direction of Marco Bassetti.