People/Biz

Boat Rocker acquires “Lip Sync Battle” prodco Matador Content

Toronto-headquartered entertainment company Boat Rocker Media has acquired U.S. production company Matador Content, the prodco behind Paramount Network’s Lip Sync Battle (pictured), among other titles. The deal is a cash and stock ...
November 8, 2018

Toronto-headquartered entertainment company Boat Rocker Media has acquired U.S. production company Matador Content, the prodco behind Paramount Network’s Lip Sync Battle (pictured), among other titles.

The deal is a cash and stock transaction that has Matador Content founders Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin remaining as heads of the company, and marks Boat Rocker’s largest move into the U.S. market to date.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The acquisition of Matador is the latest in a string of M&A activity for Boat Rocker, with the company also purchasing a majority stake in Toronto-based Insight Productions (The Amazing Race Canada, The Launch) this past spring.

Besides the Emmy-nominated Lip Sync Battle, Matador Content has also produced such programming as Boy Band for ABC; What Would Diplo Do? for Vice; The Rape of Recy Taylor, distributed in North America by The Orchard; The Who Was? Show and Fight World for Netflix; Master of Arms for Discovery Channel; Banksy Does New York for HBO, and Lip Sync Battle Shorties for Nickelodeon.

While the deal will allow Matador Content to access new sources of financing for pilots and series in the immediate future, it also gives the prodco, founded in 2013, access to Boat Rocker’s global financing, packaging and distribution infrastructure. Boat Rocker, meanwhile, strengthens its foothold in the U.S. market with the acquisition, with the aim “to expand its capabilities as a global studio with a focus on premium content production and brand building,” according to a joint statement from David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, co-executive chairmen, and John Young, CEO of Boat Rocker Media.

“We have gotten to know the Boat Rocker team well over the past several years and believe this union perfectly suits the vision we have for our company’s future,” added Matador’s Peterson and Lubin in a joint statement.

Several divisions reside under the Boat Rocker umbrella: Boat Rocker Studios, which includes the production companies Temple Street, Crooked Horse, Proper, Insight Productions, Jam Filled Entertainment, Radical Sheep and an equity partnership with Industrial Brothers; commercial division Boat Rocker Rights, which includes Boat Rocker Brands; and Boat Rocker Ventures, which has investments in MarcoPolo Learning, serialized literary content platform Serial Box, digital media company The Outline, and CAA Creative Labs.

For Boat Rocker, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Stikeman and Elliott served as legal counsel, while TD Securities served as an advisor on the transaction. For Matador Content, CAA and Evolution Media Capital advised on the transaction and Sidley Austin LLP and Hansen, Jacobson, Toberman, Heller and Newman provided legal counsel.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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