Discovery finalizes Raw TV takeover
Discovery Communications has finalized a deal to acquire Raw TV, the UK indie behind hit series Gold Rush and BAFTA-winning feature doc The Imposter (pictured), for an undisclosed sum.
The confirmation comes after realscreen first broke the news that the two parties were in advanced takeover talks during the Realscreen Summit in January this year.
Raw was founded by Dimitri Doganis in 2004 with creative director Bart Layton joining in 2005, followed by MD Piers Vellacott, who joined in 2008, and CEO Joely Fether, who came on board last year. All will remain with the indie as part of the takeover.
“We are delighted to be joining forces with Discovery in a deal that strengthens our ability to tell great stories and bring them to new audiences as well as provides the resources and freedom we need to grow Raw,” said Doganis in a statement.
Lee Bartlett, president of Discovery Studios and Production Group, added: “We want Raw to maintain the identity and culture that has allowed them to produce such high-quality programming. We are looking forward to Raw infusing our ever-expanding creative pipeline with compelling stories that will be seen on Discovery’s networks around the world.
“On the same day as the debut of AHC: American Heroes Channel, the company’s newest network brand, the acquisition of Raw underscores Discovery’s ongoing strategy of increasing investment in new brands, new content creators, new programming genres, and new opportunities across more platforms in more regions of the world.”
The deal was brokered for the indie by About Corporate Finance (ACF), and represents the corporate broker’s third major M&A deal for in the last 30 days. ACF was also involved in Red Arrow Entertainment’s takeover of Half Yard, and Tinopolis Group’s acquisition of Magical Elves. Grant Dawe LLP acted as legal advisers to Discovery on the acquisition.
ACF MD Tom Manwaring said: “Raw is unique as a UK company – it has not only created three hit shows in the U.S., but has also been successful across the spectrum of both scripted and non-scripted programming.
“They are a great fit with Discovery, the world’s largest factual entertainment broadcaster, which will ensure that their programming continues to reach the largest global audiences. We wish them all the best in growing the business as part of the Discovery group.”