Today Zodiak Entertainment finalized the acquisition of RDF Media Group and simultaneously appointed a new CEO. David Frank, the former CEO of RDF, will now head up Zodiak. The deal creates a new production and distribution group with annual sales exceeding 500 million euro.
The acquisition, which has been on the horizon since the beginning of the year, pushes Zodiak’s presence up to more than 20 countries, including the UK, the U.S., France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and Russia. While no price tag was revealed for the deal, some reports are placing it at between €120m and €150m in cash and shares. The deal also reportedly makes the combined entity the third largest global superindie, behind Endemol and FremantleMedia.
Zodiak is based in Paris and was headed by Lorenzo Pellicoli, who was CEO and chairman of the company. With the appointment of Frank as Zodiak’s new CEO, Pellicoli will remain chairman.
Headquartered in London, RDF has operations in the UK and the U.S. and, according to Broadcast‘s Indie Survey 2010, is the fourth largest indie television producer in the UK. With offices in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Cardiff, Maidstone, New York and Los Angeles, the company employs over 500 people.
‘With the acquisition of RDF Media Group the consolidation process of Zodiak is completed,’ says Pellicoli. ‘Zodiak, with its strong international footprint and its presence in all entertainment formats, is today one of the main content producers in the world. We are particularly glad to welcome David Frank as the new future CEO of Zodiak and we are sure that his experience and his deep expertise will lead Zodiak towards important goals.’
David Frank founded RDF in 1993, which was acquired by a consortium of the RDF management team and funds managed by Cyrte Investments BV in 2009. Under the new deal, Zodiak is now 71% owned by the De Agostini Group and 29% owned by Zodiak Managers, which include RDF managers.
‘The content business is both changing rapidly and becoming more global by the day and this is a huge opportunity to be at the very heart of this revolution,’ says Frank. ‘In my opinion to succeed you need two things – brilliant creative executives and scale. This deal delivers both and I am confident that the Zodiak management team can build a world-beating company.’