Rights firm International Literary Properties expands Hilary Strong’s remit across Europe

Hilary Strong

New York- and London-based rights management firm International Literary Properties (ILP) has expanded the remit of its CEO Hilary Strong to cover Europe as well as the UK.

Strong will have responsibility for the company’s acquisition programme, with her remit to acquire the rights in literary estates from those who have inherited them, as well as from living authors. The former CEO of Agatha Christie Ltd will also have global responsibility for the company’s TV and film exploitation.

ILP was launched late last year by Strong and Bob Benton, whose Anthology Group emerged from what was known as Bob & Co in 2018.

The company struck an agreement last year that will allow BBC Studios Production and BBC Studios-owned prodcos to “explore” the intellectual property owned and managed by ILP. That deal came less than a month after ILP struck amp arrangement to acquire a raft of rights from Peters, Fraser + Dunlop, including the estates of Maigret scribe Georges Simenon, Eric Ambler, Margery Allingham, Edmund Crispin and Dennis Wheatley.

Also included in the deal are works from Robert Bolt, Richard Hull, George Bellairs, Nicolas Freeling, John Creasey and Michael Innes, while ILP owns 20% of Brideshead Revisited writer Evelyn Waugh’s estate. Peters, Fraser + Dunlop will remain literary agents for the 12 estates.

Anthology rejig

ILP is led by Scott Hoffman as global CEO and executive chairman Ted Green, while Strong works alongside Anthology Group founder Benton in the UK and Europe.

The Goes Wrong Show

Strong’s expanded remit at ILP will also see her stepping down as CEO of the Anthology Group from the start of March after almost three years in the role, having initially been appointed to restructure and reposition the group.

Anthology Group will be headed up by Benton and group chairman Carolyn Bennett, although Strong will remain on the board of Anthology Theatre and continue as CEO of Anthology prodco Mischief Screen, which was set up to develop and exploit Mischief Theatre IP for film and TV. It has previously been behind BBC One six-parter The Goes Wrong Show with Big Talk, Lionsgate and YTD HK.

Anthology Media, which includes Anthology Studios, will continue to be led by Bennett, who will continue to oversee creative, content and finance across the group’s TV and film production companies and licensing business. Earlier this year, Anthology revealed Kate Beal’s Woodcut Media was being merged with Paul Wooding’s Spark TV to form Woodcut West, which is working with sales division Woodcut International.

Strong said: “We have already made some very swift and bold moves within the past twelve months, the success of which has led to expansion as we maximise global reach. As CEO for UK and Europe, I am looking forward to brokering further deals with estate owners, allowing us to work with them to re-invigorate their intellectual property.”

Hoffman added: “As International Literary Properties accelerates our pace of literary acquisitions, broadens our licencing programme, and begins to see an increasingly large number of our properties perfectly positioned for film, television, and stage, Hilary’s expanded role will be critical to achieving our strategic goal and expanding our mission to serve as trusted stewards of literary legacies.”

This article has been updated to reflect Strong’s exit as CEO of Anthology Group.

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