Fremantle has taken a majority stake in David Glover and Mark Raphael’s 72 Films, the UK prodco behind Amazon Prime Video’s All Or Nothing: Arsenal and BBC’s The Elon Musk Show.
The prodco has had a stellar run on docs over recent years, with 9/11: One Day in America and two-part Netflix series, Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story.
It previously worked with Fremantle on the Musk show, which was sold globally by the group, and is working with Amazon-owned MGM on a James Bond-themed gameshow for Prime Video.
The deal provides a filip to Fremantle’s documentary push, after former BBC Storyville chief Mandy Chang was hired in 2021 to oversee its factual expansion.
The company has since launched UFA Documentary in Germany, set up a production arm in Spain with the head of non-fiction at Movistar+, Fernando Jerez, and partnered with Anonymous Content on beauty queent pageant show, Mrs. America.
Yesterday, the RTL Group-owned producer-distributor linked with Ample Entertainment on a doc about Fyre Festival founder and convicted felon Billy McFarland.
Glover and Raphael said: “At this stage of 72’s development, there are great advantages and opportunities of joining forces with Fremantle. Their extensive international infrastructure and expertise will provide 72 Films with the platform to have our work seen across the world. We know and like their excellent team. And they offer us not only fantastic support but complete creative freedom so we can continue to work in the same way.”
Jennifer Mullin, Group CEO at Fremantle, added: “Fremantle is proud to invest and work with the very best creative minds in the business. David and Mark, and their team at 72 Films are exceptional talents, all of whom take enormous pride in their storytelling and filmmaking, and we are thrilled to have them part of our family.”
Simon Andreae, Fremantle UK’s CEO and the exec behind the deal, said 72 Films had “developed an unrivalled reputation for telling the world’s most fascinating stories with real freshness and flair.”
Fremantle has acquired a raft of companies over the past 12 months as it seeks to hit a €3bn annual revenue target by 2025, which was set by parent RTL Group last year.
The company has been linked with buying ITV Studios, which parent ITV is reportedly looking at selling, and has also recently taken stakes in UK-based Element Pictures (Normal People), Dancing Ledge (The Responder), Italian scripted production company Lux Vide (Devils, Leonardo), Fabel (Bosch) and Australian-American firm Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance).
Other deals include UK unscripted production company Label1 (Hospital, Five Guys a Week, Soldier), as well as 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group (This is Nice Group).
Mullin recently admitted that acquisitions in Latin America and India were now on the cards.
Financial details fo the 72 Films deal were not revealed. The sale was advised by ACF Investment Bank with commercial support from Matisse.