Entertainment One completes acquisition of Sierra Pictures

Entertainment OneEntertainment One has completed the purchase of the remaining stake in feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures, in which it first invested in 2015. As part of the move, Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg have joined the company as president of film and executive VP of film and global operations, respectively. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sierra Pictures has backed the likes of “Tully,” “American Animals,” and the upcoming adaptation of James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces.” In his new role, Meyer will oversee all film content across eOne, while remaining CEO of Sierra/Affinity, the international sales company that is wholly owned by eOne. Schaberg will also continue as COO of Sierra/Affinity in addition to taking on his new role at eOne. Sierra/Affinity will remain independently operated.

eOne’s CEo Darren Throop said, “Welcoming Sierra to eOne is an important next step in our strategy to increase our direct involvement and ownership in content. Together, we will continue to build strong relationships with high-profile creative talent domestically and abroad”.

Canada, Toronto & USA, Beverly Hills, CA

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Keywords Studios acquires Fire Without Smoke

keywordsKeywords Studios, the technical services provider to the video games industry, has acquired Fire Without Smoke Ltd for up to £5.2m. 

Headquartered in London and with a studio in Montreal, Fire Without Smoke provides a suite of creative and marketing services to game publishers and developers, creating assets such as game trailers, marketing art and materials for esports events, and providing marketing consultancy and general design services to the video game industry. 

Founded in 2013, Fire Without Smoke works with major game publishers such as Sony, Square Enix, Riot Games, Deep Silver, Sega, Capcom and Ubisoft. The company has around 40 staff  working in London and Montréal

Keywords Studios is acquiring the business from the founders Will O’Connor, Michael David Thomson plus other shareholders. Will O’Connor will continue as Managing Director. David Thomson and the the rest of the team, will also remain with the business. 

For the year ending 31 May 2018, Fire Without Smoke is expected to have revenues of £2.8 million and adjusted profits before tax of £0.7 million.  Keywords Studios is paying £3.85 million in cash, £0.5m of which is deferred until the first anniversary of the acquisition and subject to performance targets, and the issue of 77,006 new ordinary shares in Keywords Studios, which will be issued to the Sellers on the first anniversary of the acquisition and will then be subject to orderly market provisions for a further 12 months.

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios commented: “Fire Without Smoke’s specialised offering represents an excellent addition to the Group’s existing capabilities and adds some exciting new services to our global service platform. Their high end video game trailers expertise will be of great interest to Keywords’ large client base, as will their broad suite of creative services, which range from marketing strategy to providing marketing content for events including esports tournaments, which can play a significant role in influencing the success of event and game launches.

Ireland, Dublin & UK, London & Canada, Montréal

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Keshet acquires majority stake in Greenbird Media

Keshet InternationalKeshet International, the global production and distribution arm of Israeli media giant Keshet, has acquired a majority stake in UK production company incubator, investor and biz accelerator Greenbird Media. The deal sees Keshet up its share of Greenbird and take over BBC Worldwide’s 30% stake in the company. Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Greenbird, a venture from Shine TV executive Jamie Munro and Stuart Mullin from Argonon, was founded in 2012 and provides independent producers with access to innovative funding models and licensing deals to support their creative productions.

KI, known for “Homeland,” “The A Word” and “Rising Star,” will become distribution partner for Greenbird Media’s production companies and boost its roster with more entertainment and factual content, while Greenbird will continue to guide its independent producers in terms of funding and licensing deals for creative productions.

Alon Shtruzman, CEO of Keshet International, said, “Greenbird Media, with its entrepreneurial and creative culture, is the perfect match for us. We share similar philosophies and values, and by combining KI’s global footprint with Greenbird Media’s stellar team, I see limitless possibilities and accelerated growth.”

Israel, Jerusalem & UK, London

 

WPP acquires john st. a creative agency in Canada

wppWPP has acquired john st., one of Canada’s top creative agencies.

Founded in 2001 and based in Toronto, john st. employs approximately 100 people and has unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 of approximately $14.0 million, with gross assets at the same date of $5.5 million. Clients include AstraZeneca, Kruger, ING Direct, Maple Leaf Foods and Tata.

Over the last 12 years, john st. has built an international reputation as one of Canada’s leading innovative johnstcreative agencies. It was recently named Silver Agency of the Year as well as Silver Digital Agency of the Year by Strategy, a leading Canadian marketing publication.

The acquisition of john st. strengthens WPP’s presence in Canada. “We see enormous value in being part of WPP,” says Arthur Fleischmann President of john st. “We’ll now be able to augment our current services in areas that clients are asking for, such as media, direct and public relations.”

UK, London & Canada, Toronto

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