Changes are afoot at Karlstad, Sweden’s Scandinature Films. The doc producer is in the final stages of negotiations with a ‘well established’ Swedish new media company. The deal, which will see 15%-20% ownership of Scandinature change hands, will establish a strategic partnership between the two entities and ensure the prodco further expansion into interactive ventures – such as DVDs, CD-ROMS and webcasting. (The company launched a new media division two years ago.)
A ‘family-run’ operation for over 20 years, Scandinature has been seeking a partner for some time. Says Bo Landin, MD and exec producer at Scandinature, ‘[We asked ourselves,] should the partner be a tv company, a multimedia company, a telecommunications company or another production house? . . . We know the TV business well enough . . . and felt it would be more interesting to look for a company that can add knowledge and experience in the field of new media.’
Known primarily for its natural history and science docs, Scandinature brings an extensive film archive to the deal that will provide a wealth of content for new media projects. Says Landin, ‘[We] have quite a big archive because we’ve been able to keep all the rights to our films. [Content] is what other companies are looking for . . . We have the content.’
On the other hand, the partnering company will provide financial muscle and market knowledge for new media endeavors and lend support on future film productions. ‘[The partner's] interest is that we not only produce new media content, [but also] produce films. They know that film production is still the backbone of successful new media ventures.’ The partnership will give Scandinature the financial security to invest more in their own productions, as well as work with more independents.
Landin, who will act as CEO, says plans for an IPO in the ‘not too distant future’ and another partnership with a major, international investor (within the next six months), are being considered. Also at this time, Scandinature is merging with their U.S. sister company – Scandinature Films USA – and will base operations in Karlstad. Says Landin, ‘We hope to take Scandinature to a totally new level within a year.’