People/Biz

Arrow Media exits Channel 4 Growth Fund, buys back shares

UK-based prodco Arrow Media is buying back its shares from Channel 4′s Growth Fund, making it the first company to complete a buy-back of its shares from the UK pubcaster. Arrow ...
May 3, 2018

UK-based prodco Arrow Media is buying back its shares from Channel 4′s Growth Fund, making it the first company to complete a buy-back of its shares from the UK pubcaster.

Arrow received investment from the fund in 2014, as part of Channel 4′s first round of investment in UK indies. That round of investment also saw C4 take minority stakes in Lightbox, Popkorn and True North.

Since that investment, Arrow Media has more than doubled in size since the Growth Fund investment, growing from an annual turnover of £8 million to £20 million. The company, founded by Tom Brisley, Iain Pelling and John Smithson, has also increased its number of international and U.S. commissions.

“The Growth Fund’s investment has been hugely beneficial to Arrow, both in terms of the development of our business and enabling our creative ambition,” said joint creative directors Brisley and Smithson in a joint statement. “We are now making more returning series, specials and singles, working across all platforms, including film and SVOD. The Growth Fund investment has achieved everything we wanted it to. We have a very exciting future ahead of us and have ambitions to work with even more partners in 2018 and beyond, in the UK, the US and globally.”

“We have really enjoyed working with Iain, Tom and John over the last three years and are proud to have played an important role in the impressive growth of their business,” said Jonathan Allan, chief commercial officer at Channel 4. “Arrow’s success has enabled them to become fully independent again, demonstrating another way our valuable Fund model can be helpful to developing British businesses. This is now the third successful exit from our investment portfolio, which helps bolster our ongoing commitment to supporting the creative sector across the whole of the UK.”

Arrow is behind such programming as See No Evil and American Monster for ID, America in Color for the Smithsonian Channel, Animal Fight Night for Nat Geo Wild and the theatrical doc Sherpa. The company is currently at work on a theatrical doc in conjunction with History Films, BFI and BBC ‘Storyville’, and two series for SVOD services.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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