European broadcaster Modern Times Group (MTG) has taken over two indies, acquiring UK-based distributor DRG in a £15 million (US$23.5 million) deal, and buying Norwegian indie Novemberfilm for an undisclosed sum.
MTG has acquired 92.4% of Digital Rights Group (DRG) for £15 million from majority shareholder Ingenious Media Active Capital, with the remaining 7.6% of the shares to be held by DRG’s CEO and management team.
As part of the deal, DRG’s founder and former CEO Jeremy Fox will rejoin the company as CEO, replacing Jonathan Jackson, the current MD, who is leaving the firm.
The shares in Novemberfilm, meanwhile, have been acquired from the company’s current management, with the remaining 49% of the company continuing to be owned by members of the management team.
In a statement, MTG’s president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann said: “These acquisitions reflect our strategy of increasing our international content rights portfolio and broadening our international customer base. I look forward to welcoming these talented teams into MTG.
“We are very happy to welcome Jeremy Fox back as CEO for DRG. He and the rest of the team will be a valuable addition to the MTG Studios team. That also goes for Novemberfilm, which provides us with a strong and exciting addition to MTG Studio’s current content portfolio in Norway.”
Novemberfilm was set up in 2004 and has 12 employees at its offices in Oslo and Arendal. Its formats include The Zookeepers, Insider and Missing, and the company generated revenues of SEK 17 million (US$2.6 million) in the 12 months to December 31, 2012, with an operating profit of SEK 5 million.
Meanwhile, DRG – which has 32 employees and a catalog including titles such as Singing Bee, Catch Phrase (pictured) and Sea Patrol – had preliminary and unaudited revenues of £23.4 million and pre-tax earnings of £1.6 million in the 12 months to March 31, 2013.