M&A


Byron Allen storms to $300m Weather Channel acquisition

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has acquired The Weather Channel for US$300 million. Allen (pictured) has acquired the assets of the US cable network, collectively The Weather Group, through his Allen Media firm. The Entertainment Studios chairman and CEO bought the network from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and NBCUniversal. The deal hands the cable entrepreneur […]

Channel 4 restructure continues with return of COO role

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has created a number of new executive roles – including chief operating officer and chief product officer – as part of a shakeup of the top brass. The chief product officer will spearhead the UK broadcaster’s push into new digital areas and will also take responsibility for online service All 4. […]

French consolidator Mediawan posts 2017 financials

Paris-listed production-distribution group Mediawan has reported its 2017 full year numbers. Both actual and pro forma results were included in results for the company, which launched at the end of 2015 as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Actual results (including a nine-month consolidation of financials from Groupe AB, which it bought last year) show […]

Bruce Tuchman invests in ‘Netflix of stand up comedy’

Bruce Tuchman, former president of AMC Global and Sundance Channel Global, has invested in NextUp, the stand-up comedy SVOD service, as it sees its latest investment round double. NextUp’s last financial raise saw it valued at £1.5 million (US$2.12 million). The target for the latest funding round on SyndicateRoom was £300,000, and is currently oversubscribed […]

Warner Bros. replaces DramaFever SVOD chief with Time Inc. exec

Warner Bros. is replacing DramaFever boss Seung Bak with Time Inc. senior VP of digital Patty Hirsch. The move hands Hirsch control of Warner Bros. Digital Labs (WBDL) as SVP and general manager, and oversight of Korean drama-focused SVOD service DramaFever. She’ll take over from current WBDL chief and DramaFever CEO and co-founder Bak after […]

Vivendi offloads Ubisoft stake as Tencent lands

European media giant Vivendi has sold off its stakeholding in Assassin’s Creed games studio Ubisoft for nearly US$2.5 billion, with Chinese tech monolith Tencent among the new shareholders. The deal sees Vivendi selling all 30.5 million of its shares – 27.3% of the entire business – for €2 billion (US$2.45 billion) to various investors. These […]

Weinstein Co. files for bankruptcy – again

The Weinstein Company, whose ex-chairman Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment, has filed for bankruptcy for the second time, with an offer from an affiliate of equity firm Lantern Capital Partners to acquire its assets on the table. In February, the company was saved from going through with the bankruptcy process after an […]

Activist investor wants Vivendi off TIM board

US activist investor Elliott Management has formally submitted a request to Telecom Italia (TIM) to include a proposal to remove Vivendi-nominated members from the telco’s board when TIM shareholders meet on April 24. Elliott has called for six directors – TIM chairman Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Hervé Philippe, Frédéric Crépin, Giuseppe Recchi, Félicité Herzog and Anna […]

Disney creates unified streaming & int’l unit

The Walt Disney Company has restructured to create a worldwide division that will house international operations and its upcoming streaming services. Disney senior executive VP and chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer (pictured) has been named as the chairman of the new unit, Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International. The division will house Disney’s upcoming branded SVOD service, […]

INTV: Keshet Int’l launches $55m high-end drama fund

Keshet International’s big week is continuing with the launch of a US$55 million global content fund aimed at high-end drama projects. The launch of the fund comes a day after KI, the international arm of Israeli broadcaster Keshet, confirmed the acquisition of UK producer group Greenbird Media. The new fund is launching in partnership with […]