Cassiopea Partners is acting as sole financial advisor to Balich Wonder Studio S.r.l. (together with its subsidiaries “Balich Wonder Studio” or the “Group”) and its shareholders on the sale of a controlling stake to Banijay SAS (“Banijay”), a controlled subsidiary of the listed group FL Entertainment N.V..
Born in 2013, Milan-based, Balich Wonder Studio is an integrated entertainment group that conceives, produces and delivers live experiences. The Group creates visionary projects with long lasting value, including large scale ceremonies, immersive shows, brands events and destination experiences.
The Group is credited for the highest number of Olympic Ceremonies in the world, including the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup; Pan American Games Ceremonies Perù 2019 and Chile 2023; 2016 Rio Olympic Ceremonies (CC2016); and 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and Paralympic Ceremonies. Additionally, Balich Wonder Studio has delivered a range of exclusive events for top luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Formula 1, Ferrari, Dolce & Gabbana, UEFA, Maserati, Bulgari, IWC, Azimut, Benetti and many others.
As a creative studio, the Group has also been involved in a number of public destination developments, creating resident and water shows, immersive experiences and landmark icons like the symbol of World Expo with the celebrated “Tree of Life”, and the ‘Whale Shark’, a 30-metre symbol suspended in Doha during 2022.
Banijay is a leading independent production company with a multi-genre content catalog boasting over 160,000 hours of original standout programming. Banijay represents some of the biggest global brands in the reference market including Survivor, Big Brother, Peaky Blinders, MasterChef, Rogue Heroes, Marie Antoinette, Mr Bean, Love Triangle, Hunted, Black Mirror, Blow Up!, and Starstruck among others.
Marco Balich, Board Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Balich Wonder Studio, has commented: “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 ten years of extraordinary growth, we look forward to an exciting future and we are happy to continue inspiring wonder around the world”.
Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer of Banijay, has commented: “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”.
This transaction further demonstrates Cassiopea Partners’ expertise in successfully managing strategic and complex sell side, cross-border transactions and consolidates our track record in the TMT sector.
The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions and is anticipated to close in the coming months.
Alongside Cassiopea Partners, Balich Wonder Studio is being assisted as legal advisor by Chiomenti and as fiscal advisor by Studio GPBL Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici.