Newly launched content firm Rare Television has acquired a majority stake in Impossible Pictures Group-owned prodco 360Production, marking the first deal in the UK-based company’s two-year expansion strategy.
Rare Television – which aims to become a leading creator of multi-platform content in the UK - is headed by commercial TV execs Antony Fraser and Joel Denton, with financial backing from Forward Private Equity and media investment group Bob & Co.
Fraser was previously CEO of film and television prodco Handmade, and will serve as CEO for Rare Television, while Denton – the company’s group commercial director - was formerly joint MD of Red Arrow Entertainment.
According to a statement from the company, it plans to “acquire factual producers, nurture their growth and support them in the exploitation of their IP across platforms, windows and territories.” The 360Production deal, which was for an undisclosed sum, will be followed by up to three more acquisitions of indies within the next two years.
360Production was created by former BBC Timewatch editor John Farren in 2008 as a joint venture with UK prodco Impossible Pictures. Though the company initially focused on high-end history and science programming, it has since expanded into online short-form, animated and educational content. Its credits include BBC Worldwide Channel’s long-form format Factomania, BBC2 series Things You Need To Know and the YouTube channel “Head Squeeze.”
Following the deal, John Farren, CEO and creative director of 360Production, will join the board of Rare Television, alongside 360Production MD Mark Wright.
In a statement, Farren said the deal played to the strengths of all parties and united “Rare Television’s ambition to become the UK’s leading independent creator of multi-platform content with 360′s deep experience in factual production and Forward Private Equity’s proven track record in digital value creation.”
Rare Television CEO Fraser added: “We believe that international demand for UK creativity will continue to grow, and continue to drive growth in our production industry over the coming years.
“Rare Television, with its mix of creative, commercial, digital and distribution skills, is well positioned to benefit from this trend and we look forward to working with John and Mark to help their ideas and content travel across the world.”