French entertainment company Banijay has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Italian live entertainment company, Balich Wonder Studio.
Milan-based Balich Wonder Studio was founded in 2013 and has worked on major events such as the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup; the Pan American Games Ceremonies in Peru in 2019 and in Chile later this year; the 2016 Rio Olympic Games ceremonies and the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games closing ceremony and Paralympic Games ceremonies.
Additionally, the studio has worked on a number of events for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Formula 1, Ferrari, Dolce & Gabbana, UEFA and more. In 2022, Balich Wonder Studio posted revenues of €315m (£270m/$345m).
Marco Bassetti, chief executive of Banijay, said: “Complementary to us in its ambition and entrepreneurialism, Balich has risen to be top of its game in the live event space, and via this acquisition, there is huge potential for further pioneering growth.
“We feel fortunate the team chose to partner with us on this trailblazing move and can already see how together we can build additional creative and commercial synergies, to cement the collective as a media and entertainment powerhouse. In marrying our businesses, we will create a unique universe of globally-spanning premium content, and the world’s most-watched ceremonies and illustrious events – ultimately, a one-stop-shop for creativity.”
Balich Wonder Studio has also been involved in a number of immersive experiences and shows across the globe.
Marco Balich, chairman of Balich Wonder Studio, added: “We are glad that a world-class player like Banijay has chosen a committed creative team with the ambition to become the world’s most prestigious live entertainment group. Together we feel empowered to accelerate this journey.
“We share the passion for creativity, the ability to create exceptional content and spread emotions, culture, and beauty as pillars for a better world. Today, after 10 years of extraordinary growth, we look forward to an exciting future and we are happy to continue inspiring wonder around the world.”
The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions and is anticipated to close in the coming months.