CCCL puts TV production firm Celador up for sale

MUMBAI: Complete Communications Corporation (CCCL), the parent company of television production firm Celador Productions and Celador International, has announced that it is making the worldwide intellectual property rights and UK programme library of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, its globally successful quiz show format, available for sale.

If a sale of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is agreed, the parent company will encourage and support a management buyout of both Celador Productions and Celador international.

CCCL has employed the services of corporate finance advisory house, LongAcre Partners, to advise on the sale.

CCCL chairman, Paul Smith said, “I have been at the helm of Celador for over 20 years and it is no secret that I have, for some time, wished to reduce my responsibilities within the television division to allow me to focus my attention on opportunities within radio broadcasting and film production. I also wish to allow myself more leisure time. To that end I have been pursuing a partial exit and succession strategy for the past 18 months.

“I have already significantly downscaled my day-to-day involvement with Celador Productions and Celador International by devolving responsibility to the managing director of each company. Both are led by motivated and accomplished management executives, have healthy current projects as well as a number of exciting developments in the pipeline, and prosperous futures ahead of them.”

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? was launched in September 1998 in the UK on ITV1 and quickly became a ratings phenomenon. In India, it changed the fortunes of Star in its local avatar Kaun Banega Crorepati? The format has won over 60 awards globally and been licensed to 105 countries. Now in its 19th season in the UK, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is a mainstay of ITV1’s Saturday night schedule, regularly attracting audiences of over seven million viewers.

Alongside its on-air success, the format’s reach extends into a range of hugely popular consumer products and pioneering interactive applications.

Although renowned for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Celador has enjoyed success spanning two decades and has earned a reputation for producing innovative and original programming for broadcasters at home and abroad, and distributing and licensing entertainment brands across a global platform.

Celador Productions’ factual entertainment format, You Are What You Eat, became one of Channel 4’s highest rating shows when it launched in 2004. Now in its third series, the completed programme or format has been sold to 17 countries and spawned a range of successful consumer products including a series of best-selling books.

The company is currently producing a brand new factual entertainment series, Turn Back Your Body Clock, for transmission on UK's Channel 4 in May, which will be launched internationally at the television event MipTV in Cannes, France next week.

A tenth series of Commercial Breakdown recently concluded on BBC1 having consistently won its slot with an audience share of over 20 per cent, and a new six-part comedy for BBC3 Live! Girls!, has just commenced production. Celador Productions is also expanding its operations to a regional office, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Celador International’s portfolio of successful game shows includes Talking Telephone Numbers, The People Versus, and Brainiest. Last year the company acquired the rights to the kids animated show Roobarb & Custard, the new series of which is currently showing on Five’s Milkshake strand and on Boomerang, as well as ABC in Australia and Ireland’s RTE. It has also just been released on DVD in the UK.

Celador International also holds the merchandising rights to the new Tales of the Riverbank movie, which has recently commenced principal photography.

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