Fremantle Acquires Majority Stake in Element Pictures from ‘Normal People’
European production and distribution giant Fremantle has acquired a majority stake in British film and drama production company Element Pictures.
Working across production, distribution and exhibition, Element Pictures is the company behind the BBC adaptations of Sally Rooney normal people and Conversations with friendsand is managed by co-founders Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin, London and Belfast.
The deal was spearheaded by Fremantle Group COO and Continental Europe CEO Andrea Scrosati and Lorenzo De Maio of De Maio Entertainment.
Upcoming television productions from Element Pictures include Conversations with friends, based on the first novel by Sally Rooney. The 12-part series was developed and produced by Element, directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Leanne Welham, co-written by Alice Birch and will premiere on BBC and Hulu on May 15, before rolling out worldwide shortly. soon after.
This follows Element’s award-winning adaptation of Rooney’s bestselling novel normal people, released in 2020. The company’s film credits, meanwhile, include The little stranger, the favourite, the killing of a sacred deer and Lobster.
“Element Pictures turns 21 this year and it is incredibly exciting for us and our wonderful colleagues to enter an ambitious new phase of growth in partnership with our friends in Fremantle at a truly exhilarating time for our industry,” commented Ed Guiney. & Andrew Lowe, founders of Element Pictures.
“We are huge fans of the people of Fremantle, their vision for the future and the amazing talent they work with in film and TV.”
Scrosati added: “Fremantle is proud to invest in and partner with the best creative minds in the industry. Ed, Andrew and the incredible team at Element Pictures certainly fall into this category. They have built an amazing business, which has become one of the most exciting and innovative creative production companies in Europe.
Last August, RTL Group, Fremantle’s parent company, announced plans to increase Fremantle’s annual revenue target to €3 billion by 2025.
Fremantle’s investment in Element Pictures follows a number of acquisitions the company has made over the past 12 months, including UK indie Dancing Ledge (The answering machine), scripted by Italian production company Lux Vide (Devils, Leonardo), the international development and production company Fabel (Bosch), the Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (parental guidance, Finding Magic Mike) and UK unscripted production company Label1 (Hospital, five guys a week, soldier) as well as 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group (This is Nice Group).
In addition to spearheading the deal, De Maio Entertainment, a Fremantle-backed company, will be a strategic advisor and partner for the entire Element Pictures lineup.