London and Cardiff-based Midnight Oil Pictures has secured an investment deal with entrepreneur and investor Richard Green set to help fuel the specialist factual indie’s growth and fortify its development team.
The investment follows Midnight Oil’s participation in the inaugural Indielab program, a TV accelerator program that seeks to promote a “sustainable and resilient” independent TV sector in London and the UK.
As part of the investment deal, Green will acquire a minority stake in the Unlocking Sherlock producer, and a seat on its board as director.
Founded by Gillane Seaborne (pictured), Midnight Oil focuses on factual content in the genres of history, arts and travel. The shop’s current stable of content includes PBS’s docuseries Poldark Revealed, examining the history of Cornwall in the 18th Century; BBC1′s Call the Midwife: The Casebook, a copro with Neal Street Productions; and a multi-part WWII series for American Heroes Channel in the U.S.
Green has overseen a raft of corporate acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures in his nearly 30-year career. Previously, he’s served as executive chair and CEO of Compact Media Group-owned 2entertain – a joint venture he created, formed by the merger of BBC Video and Video Collection International.
“We are delighted to see Midnight Oil land an investment deal with Richard. With his unrivaled expertise and support, we hope that this partnership will help Gillane and the team reach the next level of growth and continue to build on their success,” said Victoria Powell, founder of Indielab, in a statement. “The inaugural Indielab program made such an impact on our first cohort, many of whom are also in talks with investors. So we are very proud and encourage other indies to come on board for 2017.”
Entries for the 2017 Indielab program will be open until midnight on Feb. 7 with successful applicants unveiled later that month. The companies will then be asked to nominate two people to take part in the program from March to May.
Successful applicants will also receive corporate advice throughout the program from Zodiak Rights, Barclays, Sony Pictures Television, ZDF Enterprises, Harbottle & Lewis and Channel 4.
The 2016 inaugural cohort class is expected to see a total of £4.9 million (US$6.1 million) added to their revenue across the next 18 months, an average £350,000 per company, according to Indielab. As well, 80% of those companies also are expected to enter into either a first-look or distribution deal within the next six months. Additionally, all 16 indies from 2016 are expected to create new jobs in their businesses over the next year.