American indie prodco Critical Content has taken a stake in the UK-based prodco Renowned Films.
This deal gives the U.S. company, headed by CEO Tom Forman, a foot in the British market and expands its production and creative reach.
The investment and partnership with Critical Content will help Renowned to promote its current roster of factual programming while expanding the company’s digital and branded development in the UK and U.S.
The new agreement sees Critical Content acquire the Renowned stake owned by UK pubcaster Channel 4′s Growth Fund as well as additional shares in the company.
Critical Content’s Forman and EVP and CFO Christoph Pachler will join the board of Renowned.
Founded in 2012, Renowned’s roster of unscripted, factual entertainment, features and docs includes The Women Who Kill Lions for C4 and the BBC3 film NYP: Biggest Gang in New York? (Copwatchers).
“This strategic partnership with Critical Content, in addition to the investment capital, will allow Renowned to turbo-charge our growth,” said Max Welch, founder and creative director at Renowned, in a statement (pictured, right).
Speaking to Realscreen in Cannes just prior to announcing the deal, Forman said it marked a good first step on a potentially larger strategy for partnerships in the UK.
“It’s probably part of a bigger UK play for us, but as a first piece, they’re a young, diverse company with a really fresh take on the space,” he said. “It’s a good way to complement Critical.
“They are fact-ent guys in their DNA, and as we looked at new companies that might be able to get our IP away in the UK, and people who may create a format that we would be excited to bring into the U.S., I’d bet on them any day,” he added. “Everybody talks about going to Europe first with their best American IP. Nobody really does it. We are determined to.”
(With files from Barry Walsh)