Under the equal joint venture structure, Discovery Communications and Liberty Global will not consolidate All3Media in their financial statements. The transaction is expected to close in Q3, pending regulatory approvals.
London-based All3Media, the largest independent production group in the UK, has a strong presence in the US, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand, along with 26 creative centres in the world’s largest TV producing markets. It has a diversified catalogue of more than 8,000 hours of content across numerous genres, with strong production capabilities in drama, comedy, factual and factual entertainment programming. For the fiscal year ended in August 2013, All3Media had revenues of approximately £505 million.
The All3Media group will continue to operate under its own name and executive management team, and its existing creative operating model as a standalone, independently managed entity.
Commenting on the development, David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said: “For Discovery Communications, the world’s number one pay-TV programmer, it has always been about creating compelling content for our global audiences, and this partnership is yet another way for us to work with the best storytellers in the business.
“This venture allows us to work closely with Liberty Global, a valued partner and the largest international cable company, in managing a financially strong, innovative and creatively prolific production company. We are very excited to support All3Media’s talented management team as they continue their steady growth around the world.”
Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries added: “We’re excited to be partnering with Discovery on this transaction. In view of the increased competition for great content and non-linear rights, All3Media represents a smart strategic investment for us over the long-term.
“Just as importantly, we expect All3Media to provide very attractive financial returns given its growth potential and our proposed financing structure. This is just the first step in our mission to own and develop content assets that support our core distribution platform across Europe.”
Steve Morrison, chairman and co-founder of All3Media, said: “I am delighted that the new strategic owners come with a long-term view of the importance of building a leading global content company and appreciate All3Media’s distinctive philosophy of creative freedom and diversity. This new partnership will enable All3Media to expand further through multiple avenues of growth around the world, including in the US. market, which has been a driver for our business for the past several years. I wish to thank Permira, with whom All3Media has doubled the size of its business, and congratulate the company’s fantastic management and staff for playing their part in All3Media’s continuing success.”
Farah Ramzan Golant, CEO of All3Media, continued: “The executive management team is delighted that All3Media is stepping forward into its new future. This is a proud recognition of the achievements of our stellar creative companies in making ground breaking, popular, high-quality content. Our new strategic investors support our commercial ambition and value our creative independence. Through their new joint venture, they provide us with world class experience and resources to start the next chapter of our story.”