Banijay buys National Treasure outfit The Forge

Banijay buys National Treasure outfit The Forge

National TreasureBanijay has continued its UK scripted expansion by acquiring National Treasure and Help indie The Forge

In consolidating the George Faber-founded company, the super-indie grows its UK scripted labels to 11, including most-recent majority acquisition Mam Tor Productions and its existing wholly-owned outfits Kudos, Tiger Aspect and Wild Mercury. 

The Forge is currently finalising and in production on numerous premium series for streamers including Apple TV+’s eight-part Edith Wharton adaptation The Buccaneers, which launches on 8 November, Disney+’s four-part historical murder mystery Shardlake by Stephen Butchard and Peter Kosminsky’s factual drama about the Grenfell disaster for BBC1.  

It is also in production on Generation Z, a six-part Channel 4 series from Meg II and Kill List director Ben Wheatley. 

The acquisition also included a first-look deal with distribution arm Banijay Rights. 

Faber set up The Forge in 2014 and the indie has produced several high-profile UK dramas including C4’s Jack Thorne trio National Treasure, Kiri and Help, and Ackley Bridge, the BBC’s The Miniaturist, Marriage, Rules of the Game and Roadkill, BBC/Netflix’s Collateral and Starz’s Becoming Elizabeth. 

Alongside founder and managing director Faber, The Forge’s senior team includes Mark Pybus, executive producer and head of business affairs, and exec producers Beth Willis – a former C4 head of drama – and ex-BBC creative George Ormond.  

Faber previously ran single drama at the BBC before co-founding Company Pictures, now part of All3Media, which produced Shameless, Wild at Heart and Skins. before setting up The Forge.

Patrick Holland, chief exec of Banijay UK, said: “I have been a massive admirer of The Forge since its inception. George Faber, Mark Pybus, Beth Willis and George Ormond have together grown one of the most ambitious and exciting drama slates in the UK.  

 “With a commitment to the most distinctive authorship, a desire to make shows of the highest quality and a creative commitment to make drama that appeals to broad audiences, The Forge is an extraordinary group of talented producers.  

“We are so delighted that they have chosen Banijay UK as their partners for their next chapter of growth and I can’t wait for them to join the other brilliant companies in the group.” 

Faber added: “We’re thrilled to be going into partnership with Banijay, a company whose culture and values feel like a great fit for The Forge. We’re ambitious for the next stage of our growth and we believe that Banijay’s superb distribution arm, production expertise, management team and global reach will help us chart an exciting path to the future.” 

The Forge was advised on its sale by Tom Manwaring at Helion Partners, who also advised James Norton and Kitty Kaletsky on the sale of a minority stake of their indie Rabbit Track Pictures to Banijay UK earlier this year. 


This article first appeared on our sister site, Broadcast. 

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