US distributor buys 45% stake in David Garrett’s Mister Smith.

US distributor Broad Green Pictures (BGP) has acquired a 45% stake in Mister Smith Entertainment, David Garrett’s London-based licensing and distribution operation.

Garrett will continue as Mister Smith’s CEO, and will contribute to BGP’s green-light committee with Mister Smith as the international sales and distribution arm for Broad Green productions.

Mister Smith will have first right to handle the sales and servicing of BGP’s films internationally.

The partnership will allow the ambitiously expanding BGP to acquire worldwide rights on selected feature projects, with Mister Smith selling and servicing international, and gives the latter the ability to offer filmmakers equity and financing for productions.

“The most difficult challenge any rapidly growing company faces is keeping its culture intact as it grows, and David is not only the very best at what he does, he is an incredible person,” said BGP CEO Gabriel Hammond.

“There couldn’t be a more perfect fit to represent BGP in the international marketplace, and we are so excited to help David grow his business.”

Garrett, who launched Mister Smith as a joint venture with Constantin Film in May 2012, said: “Gabriel and Daniel Hammond are an incredibly dynamic and visionary duo, and I am excited by the possibilities afforded by such a collaboration with the Broad Green team

“Making an alliance with a US distributor seemed the next logical step for Mister Smith and Broad Green’s business philosophy and ethos are a great fit with ours.”

The deal was negotiated on behalf of BGP by Hammond, evp business affairs and general counsel Chris Tricarico and finance manager Shawn Xu, and by Mister Smith’s Garrett and COO Dan Fisher.

The fast-growing Broad Green made a splash at Berlin picking up two Terrence Malick films and inking a deal with the director. In December, it acquired a stake in cinema-on-demand platform Tugg.

Mister Smith’s current slate includes Jesse Owens biopic Race and Dakota Fanning drama Brain on Fire.

The London-based outfit also handles the licensing and servicing of DreamWorks Studios product in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This includes Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of The BFG.

Mister Smith and BGP will operate together at Cannes in May, meeting with distributors, buyers, producers and filmmakers.