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Propagate acquires Electus and majority interest in Artists First

LA-based indie prodco Propagate has acquired fellow indie Electus, along with a majority interest in talent management and production firm Artists First from IAC, to expand its global studio. Electus was founded ...
October 30, 2018

LA-based indie prodco Propagate has acquired fellow indie Electus, along with a majority interest in talent management and production firm Artists First from IAC, to expand its global studio.

Electus was founded by Propagate chairman and co-CEO Ben Silverman (pictured, left) with the backing of IAC in 2009. He left Electus in 2016 to found Propagate with co-CEO Howard T. Owens (right).

The deal combines Electus’ content, international sales division and library and Artists First’s talent roster and shows with Propagate’s robust content creation capabilities and strategic relationships.

Electus is the producer and distributor of non-fiction series including Running Wild with Bear Grylls for NBC, The Toy Box for ABC and Darkness for Discovery, as well as scripted series Jane the Virgin for The CW.

The company also contains prodcos Big Breakfast, which produces Adam Ruins Everything and Hot Date, and Notional, which produces Chopped for the Food Network. Global distribution division Electus International represents more than 4,000 hours of content sold in more than 220 countries.

The deal was negotiated by Propagate president Greg Lipstone with Propagate’s VP of finance and corporate development Kelly Fancher. The Raine Group was an advisor on the transaction.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“At Propagate, we are focused on building premium content with the best creative voices from around the world, and being able to support the growth of Electus and all of its partnerships is incredibly exciting to us,” said Silverman and Owens, in a joint statement. “We have had the privilege of working closely with Peter Principato and his team of world-class executives and managers at Artists First and we are looking forward to deeper collaboration as we build an enterprise for the next phase of content creation and distribution. Barry Diller is an incredible entrepreneur who has consistently supported us throughout our careers.”

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About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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