ViacomCBS acquires Israeli TV company Ananey

Orly Atlas-Katz, Ananey's CEO (photo credit: Courtesy)
Orly Atlas-Katz, Ananey's CEO
(photo credit: Courtesy)
ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), a division of ViacomCBS Inc., announced Monday that it had acquired Ananey Communications Group, a leading Israeli content producer and pay television channel provider. VCNI is acquiring the shares in Ananey that it does not already own, following its acquisition of a minority stake in the company in December 2016.
Ananey’s founder and chairman, Udi Miron, will stay on in a new role as special advisor to Ananey. Ananey’s CEO, Orly Atlas-Katz will be reporting to Maria Kyriacou, president of VCNI’s operations across Australia, Israel and the UK, now that Ananey will be consolidated into VCNI.
Ananey Communications Group, one of Israel’s largest media companies, was founded by Miron in 1996 and quickly became the leading multichannel television group in Israel, with 11 original channels and exclusive operation of ViacomCBS brands in Israel, including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TeenNick and Nick Jr. Ananey's channels reach four in every five Israeli households.
Udi Miron, Ananey's founder and chairman (Courtesy)Udi Miron, Ananey's founder and chairman (Courtesy)
Among the many series created by Ananey and its subsidiary, Nutz Productions, are the Netflix series, Greenhouse Academy, which has been renewed for a fourth season, and the Hebrew-language series on which it was based, Ha Hamama. Other recent series from Ananey include Rising, about teenagers in the Palmach fighting force just before the War of Independence, and Spyders, a show about teens who join their parents in a spy organization that protects the environment.
Atlas-Katz said: "This a vote of confidence on behalf of ViacomCBS, not only in us as a company, but also in Israeli content and creators. I'm positive that this a giant step forward for the local market and a boost to its ability to distribute content outside Israeli borders."
Miron added: “We’ve been working for a long time to expand Ananey’s horizons beyond the Israeli market and have made good progress in building an international business – becoming part of ViacomCBS will now accelerate our efforts to establish Ananey as a globally significant player in the international content market.”
Miron will also become a general partner of a newly formed venture capital fund, Gazella – New Media Experience, that he and VCNI will jointly invest in. The fund will focus its investment in Israeli media and technology businesses.
David Lynn, president and CEO of VCNI, commented: “This deal is a logical next step to cement and enhance the long-standing and valuable partnership we have with Ananey and to secure and scale our position in the Israeli market.”