Producer and former Fox Group CEO Peter Chernin has launched The North Road Company, a new global venture that will combine Hollywood film and TV unit Chernin Entertainment, the newly-acquired US assets of Europe’s Red Arrow Studios and other operations.
With $800m in backing, North Road has set up a new London office under former Red Arrow CEO Jan Frouman and is looking to acquire companies and projects in the international marketplace.
North Road has reportedly paid around $180m to buy Red Arrow’s US operations, which include reality TV producers Kinetic Content, Left/Right and Half Yard, from European media giant ProSiebenSat.1. Those companies’ heads will stay in place under the North Road umbrella, as will Jenno Topping, president of Chernin Entertainment, best known for Ford v Ferrari and the three recent Planet of the Apes features as well as drama series See and P-Valley. Upcoming projects include the feature version of Luther for Netflix.
Non-scripted producer Words + Pictures, of which North Road has acquired full ownership, will also be part of the new venture.
The venture’s new UK office will be headed by North Road president Frouman, who recently joined the company after a stint as head of international at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook, and president of international TV Kristin Jones. Jones joins North Road from AMC Networks, where as executive vice president of international programming she worked on series including The Night Manager, Killing Eve and Gangs of London.
Chernin - who led Fox Group and its Twentieth Century Fox studio and Fox TV network from 1996 to 2009 and launched Chernin Entertainment in 2010 - will serve as chairman and CEO of North Road.
North Road’s backing from US investments firms consists of $500m in equity from Providence Equity Partners and $300m in debt financing from Apollo.
Chernin commented: “Our goal is to build a leading global, independent content studio by combining top industry production entities with leaders who are each proven experts in their businesses. Premium scripted and non-scripted content across film and TV is in high demand both in the US and globally, and we aspire to meet the needs of the streamers, cable networks, broadcasters and any other platform that may emerge with exceptional, commercial content.”