The Traitors c BBC

Source: BBC

‘The Traitors’ series 2

US investment giant RedBird IMI has agreed a £1.2bn deal to buy super-indie All3Media.

The deal, announced today, will see the Jeff Zucker-led Red Bird IMI take ownership of the producer-distributor from current owners Warner Bros Discovery and Liberty Global for £1.15bn.

Redbird IMI, a joint-venture between RedBird Capital Partners and Abu Dhabi-based International Media Investments, will now have control over the London-based company which commands some 50 international production labels, including Studio Lambert, Raw TV, Two Brothers Pictures, Silverback Films and houses some of the biggest titles in global TV, such as The Traitors, Squid Game: The Challenge and The Tourist.

Redbird IMI chief exec and former CNN boss Zucker will become the chairman of the All3Media board with the super-indie’s chief Jane Turton and chief operating officer Sara Geater continuing to to lead the company for RedBird IMI.

Zucker said: “All3Media is one of the world’s great content companies, and this gives us an incredible platform to continue to grow our expanding portfolio.

“The demand for new shows and ongoing existing series, both scripted and unscripted, makes All3 a perfect fit for us. And we would not be doing this if not for the tremendous confidence we have in the outstanding All3Media management team, led by Jane and Sara.”

Turton added: “Joining forces with Jeff and the RedBird IMI team is an exciting next step for us as we continue to build All3Media. Our strategy remains to work with the world’s best talent, developing and producing high quality, popular programmes and RedBird IMI’s support and investment will be key in helping us deliver this.

“I am very proud of all that we have built over the past few years, and I am looking forward to working with the RedBird IMI team as we take this important next step.”

International clout

Besides the UK labels, which also include New Pictures, Neal Street Productions, Objective Media Group, North One and Optomen, All3 has production presence across the globe, spanning the US (All3Media America), Germany (All3Media Deutschland), the Netherlands (IDTV), Belgium (All3Media Belgium) and New Zealand (South Pacific Pictures).

The group produces 4,000 hours annually across broadcasters, streamers and digital platforms, while its distribution arm All3Media International manages a catalogue of more than 30,000 hours.

RedBird IMI’s deal ends months of speculation over All3Media’s final destination after Liberty Global and WBD put it up for sale last year. ITV Studios had been the early favourite to acquire the company before pulling out of a deal.

After rumours swirled that Banijay, investment bank Goldman Sachs and Peter Chernin’s nascent media vehicle The North Road Company were all eyeing a deal, RedBird IMI moved to the front of the queue in December.

“Acquiring All3 is an extension of our investment thesis around pure play global content creators and owners of intellectual property,” said Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird.

“We look forward to partnering with All3’s management team to continue accelerating their growth in Europe and the US and capitalising on RedBird’s ecosystem in support of that goal.”

Andrea Salvato, chief development officer at Liberty Global, said: “All3Media has gone from strength to strength during our period of joint ownership with WBD, both financially and creatively.

“We look forward to seeing the company continue to prosper, led by Jane and the team, as part of RedBird IMI. The sale continues our strategy of recycling capital in our ventures portfolio.”

WBD chief revenue and strategy officer Bruce Campbell added: “We are incredibly proud of what All3Media, Warner Bros Discovery and Liberty Global have built together over the past decade, and given RedBird IMI’s strong commitment to creative excellence, we are confident they are best suited to shepherd this world-class production studio into its next phase and can’t wait to see all that’s ahead.”

This story first appeared on Screen’s sister site Broadcast