ITV has confirmed it is in exclusive talks to buy Dutch production company Talpa Media, creator of The Voice. The company was established in 2004 by John del Mol, and last year saw the launch of Talpa Global. Although based in The Netherlands, Talpa owns companies including Talpa Media USA, the division of the Talpa Media Group, as well as Talpa Middle East, based in Dubai. Other Talpa companies include Talpa UK, Talpa Italy and Talpa Nordic. It has its own music division, Global Music and Talent Agency, as well as a record label and Talpa Radio stations.
ITV revealed its move in a statement: “ITV is continually assessing opportunities to grow and develop its business in line with its strategy, including the assessment of potential acquisitions. ITV confirms that it is in exclusive discussions regarding an acquisition of Talpa. These discussions may or may not result in agreement of a transaction.”
In August 2010 ITV announced its strategy to transform the company over five years, based upon four key priorities. In July last year these were renewed with a focus on three areas: ‘Maxmise audience and revenue share from free-to-air broadcast and VoD business; Grow international content; Build a global pay and distribution business.’ At the time, CEO Adam Crozier commented, “We enter the next phase of ITV’s growth strategy as a demonstrably better business than when we launched the Transformation Plan in 2010. The plan we embarked on four years ago of rebalancing and strengthening ITV creatively and financially, both in the UK and internationally, is clearly the right one for the company and our vision remains unchanged.”
In 2012 and 2013 ITV purchased stakes in two US companies, and acquired 100 per cent of UK’s The Garden and Big Talk Productions. This was followed by the company taking a controlling stake in Thinkfactory Media, and early last year, a controlling stake in New York-based indie producer DiGa Vision.
Later in 2014 ITV acquired Leftfield Entertainment Group, making it the largest unscripted independent producer in the US.