FremantleMedia Acquires 495 Productions

FremantleMedia announced Wednesday that it has reached a deal to acquire a majority stake in 495 Productions, the unscripted production house behind series such as CMT’s Party Down South and MTV’s Jersey Shore.

Under the agreement, FremantleMedia will acquire a 75% stake in 495, which was founded in 2006 by SallyAnn Salsano, with the option to take on the remaining 25% later. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

“495 Productions is undeniably one of the U.S.’s leading reality production companies with a unique approach to formatted character-driven reality shows which have proved compelling TV in the U.S. and around the world,” said Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO FremantleMedia. Thom Beers, CEO FremantleMedia North America, added, “SallyAnn is a brilliant leader, an unstoppable creative force and one of the most successful producers in the entertainment industry.”

The FremantleMedia-495 deal follows a string a recent acquisitions in the unscripted production space. Earlier this month Discovery Communications reached an agreement to purchase U.K. production company Raw. In February, the international operations of independent producer Eyeworks were acquired by Warner Bros Television Group for a reported $273 million.

FremantleMedia’s stable of U.S. series include Fox’s American Idol, NBC’s America’s Got Talent, and Discovery’s Deadliest Catch.

“This is a huge moment for me and the entire team at 495,” Salsano said. “That said, the decision of who to partner with and where to make my new home was easy because of my long term relationships with both Cecile and Thom. They know me, they understand how I run my business and they appreciate the way I produce my shows.”