Sony Pictures Television takes majority stake in Left Bank Pictures

Left Bank Pictures, the UK independent producer behind the BBC's Wallander remake, has confirmed majority stake sale to Sony Pictures Television under a deal understood to value the company at £40 million.

BBC Worldwide, which took a 25 per cent stake in Left Bank at the time it was founded by former ITV executives Andy Harries and Marigo Kehoe in 2007, would net about £5 million from the deal. The deal sees BBC Worldwide cut its stake to 12.2 per cent.

Harries and Kehoe would stay with Left Bank, and some of the money they would get from the deal is understood to be linked to earn out clauses related to performance targets. They would report to Andrea Wong, Sony Pictures Television president for international production.

Sony would also distribute future Left Bank TV shows, retaining a first look distribution option on feature film productions.

Left Bank shows include Sky's Mad Dogs and Strike Back and ITV's DCI Banks, with films including The Damned United.

The company's pre-tax profits doubled to £1.85 million in the year to June 2011, with a 36 per cent increase in turnover to £28.9 million, according to its latest accounts.