Simon and Jonathan Chinn’s London and LA-based production company Lightbox is to exit Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund (IGF), after its founders agreed a deal to re-take full control of the company they launched in 2014.
Lightbox became one of the first companies to join the UK broadcaster’s scheme when the prodco launched seven years ago and has since produced feature documentaries including LA 92 for Nat Geo, Tell Me Who I Am for Netflix and Whitney for theatrical release.
Financial details of the buy-out have not been revealed but the decision will allow C4 to realise the value of its investment while returning control of the company back to its founders, who are now looking to initiate its “next stage of growth.”
During the period of the IGF’s investment, Lightbox said it had more than tripled in size, with shows such as Untouchable: the Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein for BBC Two and Hulu, Torn for National Geographic and forthcoming doc Tina.
Its series slate includes Hip Hop Uncovered for FX, Supervillain for Showtime, Return To The Moon for National Geographic and Murder Mountain for Netflix/Fusion, among numerous others.
Caroline Murphy, C4’s head of the IGF, said: “We’ve really enjoyed working with Jonathan and Simon over the past six years and it’s been wonderful to see their business flourish into a multi-award-winning independent TV and film production company.
“They are supremely talented filmmakers and now seems like a natural time for them to take full ownership of the company. We wish them every success as they embark on the next stage of their journey.”
Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn added: “We have greatly valued our partnership with Channel 4 and the Indie Growth Fund, which has enabled us to achieve our ambitions to grow our business substantially, and to establish our brand, in the first phase of Lightbox’s evolution.
“We are grateful to [C4 CEO] Alex Mahon, [C4 director of commercial affairs] Martin Baker, Caroline Murphy and the whole team at the IGF for their enduring support over the past six years and are hugely excited about what lies ahead as we take Lightbox to the next level.”
IGF recently revealed it had invested in two independent production companies, Proper Content and Yeti.