Germany’s Night Train Media has acquired Eccho Rights from Korean media group CJ ENM, with one of the distribution company’s co-founders set to retire.
The Swedish company will continue to operate as an independent entity within NTM, with Eccho’s CEO Fredrik af Malmborg remaining in post with “a substantial shareholding” in Eccho Rights. Fellow co-founder, Nicola Söderlund, is to retire.
Night Train’s founder, Herbert L. Kloiber, becomes chairman of the Eccho Rights board and the company will continue to co-finance with third-party distributors. Financial details have not been revealed.
Handan Özkubat will continue as director of Turkish drama and digital operations, as will Adam Barth, Eccho’s director of co-production, development & acquisitions.
Drama & sales
Eccho, which was acquired by Seoul-based CJ ENM in 2018, sells shows ranging from Turkish drama Cennet and Latino telenovela Rosario Tijeras, to Servant Of The People, starring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Its slate runs to 17,000 hours of drama, with the company employing 40 staff and operating offices in Stockholm, Istanbul, London, Madrid and Seoul. It also has more than 10 million subscribers for its various direct-to-consumer digital channels.
Night Train, meanwhile, is backed by private equity company Serafin Group and last year acquired a majority stake in Paul Heaney’s non-scripted distribution company, BossaNova.
Kloiber said: “We are impressed by Eccho Rights’ growth, not only by its sales of popular drama series from across the globe, but also by its strategic vision. Eccho’s key business areas are complementary and synergetic with NTM’s.
“Combining our strengths could not come at a better time when even worldwide streamers are increasingly licensing content in selected territories. We are looking forward to supporting Eccho Rights in its growth plans and to closely working with this expert team.”
Malmborg added: “We share the same vision for the future of TV production and distribution, and having the support of NTM, Eccho Rights will strengthen its position as the go-to partner for creators looking to retain their independence in an ever-consolidated industry.”