Mediawan Studios-backer Atwater Capital has extended its investment in US-based Mare Of Easttown producer, Wiip.
Atwater has made an undisclosed “additional investment” in the US company, having taken its first stake in the Dickinson prodco in 2020. Terms of the latest investment were undisclosed.
The US investment firm had sold part of its interest in the prodco after Studio LulaLula (SLL, fka JTBC Studios) took a majority stake in Wiip last year, but the new deal will see Atwater become the second largest shareholder in the company. It also has a debt facility agreement with the producer.
SLL, the production division of Korean broadcaster JTBC, made its move after US-based Creative Artists Agency (CAA) was forced to sell its stake in the company following an agreement to end the long-running stand-off between agencies and the Writers Guild Of America.
CAA remains a minority shareholder at the prodco, which continues to be led by founder and CEO Paul Lee.
Wiip was launched in 2018 by one-time ABC Entertainment chief Lee and former CAA exec Matteo Perale. Its slate ranges from FX’s limited series Pistol and Amazon’s The Summer I Turned Pretty to HBO’s The White House Plumbers and Bodkin, the first scripted drama series from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground productions.
Vania Schlogel, founder & managing partner at US-based Atwater, said the deal would support Wiip “during its next chapter of growth, as it continues to drive transformational change both on and off-screen.”
Schlegel added: “It is an exciting time to work with one of the only independent purveyors of the premium episodic content that global OTT players and their audiences are demanding, and a studio with an incredible focus on empowering top creatives to tell authentic, compelling stories.”
Lee added: “We love working with Vania and Atwater, and are thrilled that the team is committed to continuing this partnership with Wiip. We look forward to bringing our creative vision and projects to audiences around the world amplified by Jeongin’s brilliant leadership at SLL.”
Jeongin Hong, CEO of SLL holding company Contentree JoongAng, said the “strengthened partnership will position Wiip for further growth and continued creative success.”
Atwater has been ramping up its content-related investments of late and counts Leonine Studios among its other European interests. It has also invested in LA prodco MadRiver Pictures and has a development partnership with Channing Tatum’s Free Association, and has backed IP projects such as the English remake rights for Les Invisibles and 4×4. It is also supporting development, with projects including Pussy Island – marking Zoe Kravitz’s directorial debut.