Media company Anthem Sports & Entertainment said it acquired film distributor Gravitas Ventures from ProSiebenSat 1 Group’s Red Arrow Studios for $73 million in cash plus additional stock consideration.
The deal adds to Anthem’s stockpile of multiplatform content. Adding Gravitas to properties including AXS TV, HDNet Movies, Impact Wrestling, Invicta Fighting Championships, Fight Networks, Game Plus and Game TV gives Anthem a library of more than 8,000 hours of sports and entertainment content.
Gravitas releases more than 300 titles a year, including the recent films The Secret Dare to Dream starring Katie Holmes and Queen Bees starring Ellen Burstyn and James Cann.
Gravitas founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher, president Michael Murphy, executive VP and general counsel Brendan Gallagher and chief financial officer Brian Kenyon will be joining Anthem. The Gravitas Ventures organization is expected to remain intact.
“This is a significant step forward for Anthem in its mission to build a next-generation media company that is primed for the digital future, keeping Anthem ahead of the curve with the current trajectory of the fast-paced streaming-first entertainment ecosystem,” said Leonard Asper, founder and CEO of Anthem.
“Gravitas is a world leader in film and documentary distribution and provides Anthem with a major presence across the top digital platforms,“ Asper said. ”We are happy to welcome Nolan, Michael, Brendan, Brian and the Gravitas team on board, and to broaden our shareholder base to include Gravitas Ventures’ management and Red Arrow Studios. We are excited to build upon the incredible success that they have already achieved.”
The deal makes Anthem a player in the digital content distribution business and will provide Gravitas with opportunities to take advantage of Anthem’s expertise in launching free ad-supported streaming TV channels by creating new themed channels base around its content.
“Anthem perfectly complements Gravitas Ventures’ mindset and mission, presenting several major platforms where our films can thrive while opening up dynamic new areas and opportunities that will be vital in helping our company grow,” Gallagher said. “They have had tremendous success with all of their acquired properties, taking a hands-on approach that shows a great understanding for their unique products and what it takes to keep them on top in this highly competitive industry. We feel confident being a part of a talented Anthem team that is more than equipped to lead the charge for our filmmakers on this journey, and we could not be more excited to begin this new era in the legacy of Gravitas Ventures.”
Progress Partners acted as M&A financial adviser to Anthem.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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