Tuesday 23rd September 2014

BBC Worldwide is today announcing that it has entered into a new arrangement with existing partner Lookout Point.  Under this deal, BBC Worldwide will acquire a 35% shareholding in the UK production company, and will enter into a new distribution and co-production agreement for a minimum of five years.  The new partnership will give Lookout Point capital for further growth, while securing access for BBC Worldwide to an important pipeline of high quality drama titles with international appeal.

UK production and distribution company, Lookout Point was established by Simon and Justine Vaughan in 2009 to develop, produce and finance high-end drama.  It acts as co-producer and executive producer with particular expertise in major international co-productions, including the securing of co-production funding.  Lookout Point first partnered with BBC Worldwide in 2010.  Since then the two companies have facilitated a number of major international co-productions, often involving innovative funding structures, including award winning series on BBC channels in the UK.  Lookout Point titles include critically acclaimed series Parade’s End (a BBC/HBO/Mammoth Screen co-production) as well as Ripper Street (now an Amazon/BBC Worldwide/BBC AMERICA co-production) and Titanic (an ITV Studios/Lookout Point/Deep Indigo co-production), with War and Peace (a BBC/The Weinstein Company co-production) now in pre-production.

Lookout Point’s team will be further bolstered by two new appointments being announced to coincide with the new deal. Saul Venit, BBC Worldwide’s current Director of Commercial and Legal Affairs, will leave the corporation’s commercial arm and join Lookout Point as its Chief Operating Officer in November. After a 15 year career in business affairs at the BBC and BBC Worldwide, Venit will work to develop Lookout Point’s business proposition as it enters the next stage of its development. And Seb Shorr will join Lookout Point Limited from Industry Media to work as Head of Business Affairs. Helen Jackson, BBC Worldwide’s Chief Content Officer, will also become a non-executive director of Lookout Point as part of the equity agreement.

The new relationship will see BBC Worldwide continue to co-develop, fund and distribute premium British drama generated by Lookout Point.

Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide said

“Drama is of increasing importance to BBC Worldwide and I look forward to collaborating on a range of ambitious projects through this partnership.  The Lookout Point team have a great record, nurturing a culture of creative freedom and championing the best UK talent. Their output is of the highest quality, loved by audiences worldwide and we are delighted to be deepening our relationship.”

Simon Vaughan, Lookout Point’s CEO says

“We didn’t want to sell our company, we wanted to build it. And we seem to have a unique model – part producer, part distribution company. The deal with BBC Worldwide builds on our established working relationship over the last four years and takes it to the next level. Together we want to build up a significant content company that places its emphasis on the very best global British productions.”

Hollywood Reporter
BBC Worldwide buys 35% stake in Lookout Point

Deadline
BBC Worldwide Acquires 35% Stake in ‘Ripper Street’ Producer Lookout Point

TBI Vision
BBC Worldwide buys into Lookout Point

Televisual
BBC Worldwide takes 35% stake in Lookout Point