Mediawan & Entourage Ventures reveal $100m fund for international projects

Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel & Matthieu Pigasse

France’s Mediawan has struck a deal with Entourage Ventures that will see the investment group provide a €100m ($100m) fund to support international scripted, kids and documentary projects.

The deal will see Entourage working with distribution arm Mediawan Rights to co-develop, co-produce and co-distribute series with “strong international potential”.

The move is designed to “enrich Mediawan Rights’ catalogue and strengthen its worldwide development strategy,” with investments and revenue to be shared 50/50.

Mediawan will handle all operational distribution of resulting series, while Entourage will provide access to its ecosystem of professional investors, which includes 123 Investment Managers, a private equity firm, Audiens, the social protection group for the film and audiovisual industries, and the Hottinguer Bank.

Outer Range

The operation will be financed by a €100m Entourage Fund and covers drama, animated and docuseries, with the initial agreement set to run between four and six years.

Future and existing projects will receive investment, including Mediawan Rights shows such as Zorro (based on Laurent Binet’s novel Civilizations) and IP from Mediawan Kids and Family Distribution, including The Little Prince & Friends and Robin Hood S4.

‘Tools to invest’

The deal is the latest expansion for Mediawan, which is backed by US private equity firms KKR and Atwater Capital, among others.

Late last year, it acquired a “significant stake” in Brad Pitt’s Outer Range producer Plan B, following a funding round with its investors.

Elisabeth d’Arvieu, CEO of Mediawan Pictures and Valérie Vleeschhouwer, CEO of Mediawan Rights, said the deal would provide the company with “the tools to continue to invest massively in the most ambitious productions but also to support a greater number of projects.”

The duo added: “We are delighted with this association which offers new opportunities for creative talents, for an European creation with an open vision, which travels far and speaks to an international audience.”

Doctor Foster

Pierre-Antoine Capton, president & co-founder of Mediawan, decribed the deal as “an important step” in its international ambitions while Entourage’s co-founder, Julien Delajoux, said the pact would offer its institutional investors and family offices “innovative and more efficient solutions”.

“We are very pleased to support Mediawan in its international ambitions and to build up a catalogue of premium audiovisual content together,” Delajoux added.

Fellow Entourage founder, Matthias Nicodeme, continued: “The pool of strong intellectual property in European series, the fundamentals of this asset and the context of new financing requirements for streaming platforms make this partnership with Mediawan a very attractive opportunity.”

Background & context

Mediawan was launched by Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse in 2015. It subsequently partnered with Germany’s private equity-backed Leonine Studios and has been in acquisitive mood, picking up Lagardere Studios in 2020 and Doctor Foster firm Drama Republic last year.

It also own firms such as Storia Television, the company created to sell EuropaCorp’s TV business, and took majority stakes in Makever and Mon Voisin Productions in 2018, as well as AB Groupe a year earlier.

In June last year the Mediawan Alliance took a minority stake in Leonine, which is the fast-growing German media group also backed by KKR. Its interests include Tele München Group, Universum Film, Universum, i&u TV and Dark producer Wiedemann & Berg TV, which is now led by former Bavaria Fiction chief creative officer Oliver Vogel.

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