Spackman Entertainment Group acquires Korean film production company Simplex for $2.4M

Spackman Entertainment GroupSpackman Entertainment Group Ltd., one of Korea’s leading entertainment production groups founded by media investor Charles Spackman, has acquired Simplex Films Ltd., an early stage film production firm headed by veteran Korean producer, Lim Ji-young, for approximately $2.4 million. Further terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Simplex intends to produce top quality films to be theatrically released and distributed in Korea and overseas. Simplex shall first release its films initially in Korea and subsequently in post-theatrical markets such as cable television, broadcast television, IPTV, video-on-demand, and home video/DVD, etc.

Simplex’s upcoming film, JESTERS: THE GAME CHANGERS, a historical comedy film starring Cho Jin-woong of INTIMATE STRANGERS (2018) and THE SPY GONE NORTH (2018) and Son Hyun-joo of ORDINARY PERSON (2017), is expected to be released in August 2019 in Korea. The film, which is currently in the post-production stage, is distributed by Warner Bros. Korea and directed by Kim Joo-ho.

John Ko, Chief Executive Officer of Spackman Entertainment Group said, “Through the acquisition of Simplex, the Group shall be able to expand its film production capacity and look forward to positive contribution from Simplex’s maiden film within this fiscal year.”

South Korea, Seoul

Penske Media Corporation acquires Art Market Monitor

Penske Media CorporationPenske Media Corporation, the parent company of ARTnews, is to acquire Art Market Monitor, an online publication run by its founding editor Marion Maneker since 2008. Through the acquisition, Maneker will become editorial director of ArtNews Media, LLC, a company that oversees ARTnews and Art in America. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Jay Penske, Chairman and CEO of PMC, said, “In the art world, where a significantly fragmented audience spans so many websites, newsletters, and brands, PMC sees the opportunity to augment these exceptional brands with further investments in content and editorial, complemented by robust data and analytic tools, and growing an engaging live media and event business. This acquisition adds a strong subscription business that expands PMC’s reach and influence in the art vertical.”

Prior to launching Art Market Monitor, Maneker was the publisher of HarperCollins’s business books imprint from 2002 to 2007. He also served as an editor at Simon & Schuster, and his writing has appeared in New York Magazine, the New York Sun, and Slate.

Art Market Monitor offers in-depth news and analysis about the art market, and also offers a premium subscription service. In addition to its editorial offerings, the website produces a podcast called Artelligence.

PMC acquired ARTnews and Art in America in 2018. Other publications in its portfolio include Variety, WWD, Robb Report, Rolling Stone, and Indiewire.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY

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Mark Allen Group completes acquisition of 12 UKi Media magazines

Mark Allen GroupThe Mark Allen Group has acquired 12 magazines in the aviation, automotive and transport, and entertainment sectors from owner UKi Media & Events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

They are: Business Airport International, Business Jet Interiors International, Aircraft Interiors International, Aerospace Testing International, Air Traffic Technology International, Industrial Vehicle Technology International, Traffic Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International, Vehicle Dynamics International, Railway Interiors International, Stadia and Auditoria.

The magazines will trade in a newly-formed company, MA Aviation and Auto International Limited. The 22 transferring staff, will be based in the group’s business offices in Hawley Mill, Dartford in Kent.

Chairman of the Mark Allen Group, Mark Allen, said, “I am delighted that, after five months of negotiations, we have finally completed this deal. I would like to thank owner Tony Robinson and managing director Graham Johnson for helping to navigate this difficult process to such a successful outcome. Above all, I want to compliment the staff, whom we have started to get to know, for their patience and engagement. They are a very committed and talented group and we greatly look forward to working with them.”

UK, London & Dorking

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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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American Media acquires celebrity and kids group titles from Bauer Media USA

American Media IncAmerican Media, Inc., has agreed to purchase the celebrity group and the teenage and kids group of Bauer Media USA. Details of the transaction were not disclosed but it is expected to close on or about July 1, 2018. With this agreement, AMI will take ownership of the complementary print and digital properties for the 13 brands within these two groups. Titles such as In Touch, Life & Style, Closer, J-14 and Teen Boss will round out AMI’s current portfolio.

AMI owns and operates the leading print and digital celebrity and active lifestyle media brands in the United States. AMI’s titles include Us Weekly, OK!, Star, Men’s Journal, Muscle & Fitness, Mr. Olympia Contest, National Enquirer and other celebrity titles. AMI also manages nine different digital sites including Usmagazine.com, OKmagazine.com, RadarOnline.com, MensJournal.com, MuscleandFitness.com and other digital and social properties. AMI’s magazines have a combined total circulation of 5.3+ million and reach more than 51 million men and women each month. AMI’s digital properties reach approximately 60 million unique visitors monthly.

Chairman and CEO David J. Pecker, said, “It gives me great pleasure to announce this acquisition which provides AMI with an extraordinary opportunity to further build upon the success of our entertainment group. AMI has built an award-winning portfolio of celebrity brands second to none in the industry. Our leadership team will remain focused on growth, innovation and continued disruption with today’s changes designed to further reinforce our leading position in the publishing industry and foster remarkable storytelling across all of our brands and platforms.”

USA, New York, NY & Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Gfinity plc acquires RealSM Limited, owner of RealSport

GFinityGfinity plc, a leading international esports entertainment group, has acquired the entire issued share capital of RealSM Limited, owner of the fan-oriented digital sports media platform, RealSport, for a total consideration for approximately £2.4 million, to be settled wholly in new shares in Gfinity. The acquisition will be paid for by issuing 12.3 million Gfinity shares at 19.317 pence each. The share price was the average closing price over the last 15 days prior to the deal being announced.

Founded in January 2016, RealSport’s platform features original content, including news documentaries, podcasts, analysis and opinions. The company has rapidly built an online user base of more than half a million active monthly users with esports currently accounting for over 40% of all traffic on its website. Gfinity will use the RealSport platform alongside its own to build the esports community.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Gfinity will integrate RealSport’s online real estate into its business operations. Gfinity will also acquire the services of the team of seven key employees including the co-founders, Roei Samuel and Scott Hurst, together with their network of contributors, who have driven the rapid growth in the RealSport digital platform.

Gfinity Chief Executive Officer Neville Upton said, ”RealSport has done a great job of building a “go-to” hub for the esports community. They have a very talented team whose expertise in building a digital community will be very valuable to Gfinity. This deal will further help Gfinity continue to drive awareness and engagement in Gfinity and Elite Series brands. We believe this will accelerate Gfinity’s plans to monetise our digital assets and will greatly increase the value of our proposition to our prospective commercial partners.”

UK, London

Endeavor acquires marketing agency 160over90

WMEEndeavor, the new name for the entertainment conglomerate formed after WME’s acquisition of IMG, has agreed to acquire branding and marketing agency 160over90 from private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

160over90 handles branding and marketing for a number of colleges, sports teams and brands, including Ferrari, the Indianapolis Colts, the Philadelphia Eagles, UCLA and Under Armour. The agency, which has about 180 employees, will be housed within Endeavor Global Marketing, the division that in recent years has acquired experiential agencies IMG LIVE and Fusion Marketing, as well as public relations firm Catalyst. Endeavor also has a stake in ad agency darling Droga5.

Mark Shapiro, co-president of WME and IMG, which still exist as independent businesses within Endeavor, said, “As the business continues to move away from the 30-second spot and into a full-fledged focus on experiences, we want to be fully armed and stand out with a unique platform. The 160over90 agency can enhance the platforms and channels and content that we are creating and producing for our clients, from Hollywood to sports.”

USA, New York, NY & Philadelphia, PA