The BBC’s production and distribution arm has acquired the 51% it did not already own in Lookout Point, the U.K.-based drama producer behind “War and Peace” and “Ripper Street.” BBC Studios will fully own Lookout Point when the deal closes. It will operate as an independent drama studio within the wider BBC Studios business.
The BBC’s commercial arm first struck a distribution deal with Lookout Point eight years ago and then acquired a 35% equity stake in 2014. In 2016 it upped it stake in the business to 49%, with an option to take full control, which it has now exercised. Joint CEOs, Simon Vaughan and Faith Penhale are still running the business.
“Increasing our investment in the company enables us to cement the partnership on a permanent basis and ensures Lookout Point can continue to realise its full potential as a leading British drama player, working independently with the very best talent on and off-screen in the industry,” said Tim Davie, CEO, BBC Studios.
Vaughan said: “BBC Studios’ respect for how we work and our creative ambition coupled with our understanding of how they can help us achieve further growth and success underpins our partnership.”
Lookout Point will continue to operate from its own offices in London after the BBC deal and Penhale said that “maintaining our independent spirit and ability to push the boundaries of our creative intent is paramount to us as a British drama company.”
Upcoming Lookout Point projects include an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” with Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins, and “Gentleman Jack,” a BBC/HBO co-commission penned by Sally Wainwright (“Happy Valley”).
Last year the commercial arm of the BBC, Lookout Point, and Access Entertainment teamed on Benchmark Television, a new high-end drama business.