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Sony Buys Into UK's Left Bank Pictures

As part of an effort to expand its scripted TV production in the UK, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has acquired a majority stake in the British production company Left Bank Pictures.

Under the agreement, SPT will also distribute future Left Bank Pictures television content, both finished programming and formats, and will have a first look distribution option on feature films produced by the company.

The deal means that SPT now has four production ventures in the U.K. -- Left Bank Pictures, Gogglebox Entertainment, Victory Television and Silver River. Globally, SPT's international production arm operates wholly owned and joint venture companies in 15 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

Left Bank Pictures was founded in 2007 by its CEO Andy Harries and managing director Marigo Kehoe. In recent years, it has emerged as one of the UK's leading producers of scripted TV, producing major drama series for the BBC/WGBH, ITV1, Sky1 HD, and HBO/Cinemax as well as two comedy series for E4 and motion pictures for Sony Pictures, Europacorp and Optimum Releasing.

Its TV productions include such fare as Wallander (for the BBC), Mad Dogs (Sky), Strike Back (Sky/HBO Cinemax), Cardinal Burns (E4) and DCI Banks (ITV).

The company's film arm has been involved in such independent titles such as the Aung San Suu Kyi biopic, The Lady (with Europacorp), the adaptation of David Peace's The Damned United (Columbia Pictures) and All in Good Time (Studio Canal).

Harries and Kehoe will continue to lead Left Bank Pictures from its London office; Harries will now report to Wong.