Sky has continued its acquisitions spree by acquiring a majority stake in UK production company Blast! Films. The company’s credits include Steve McQueen’s award-winning Hunger, which helped launch Michael Fassbender into a major star, as well as high end British feature docs and dramas such as controversial The Death of a President. Most recently, it has moved into more observational docu series such as Coppers.
The deal, the financials terms of which were not disclosed, marks Sky’s fourth with an indie. The broadcaster has also acquired stakes in Love Productions, Znak & Jones and American company Jupiter Entertainment.
Blast!, which was founded by Ed Coulthard in 1994, has reported steadily increasing turnovers of $14m in 2014, £10m in 2013 and $6m in 2012. Coulthard and managing director Claire Bosworth will continue to run the business alongside former C4 commissioner Nick Hornby, who joined as head of programmes earlier this year, plus head of factual Alistair Pegg and head of development James O’Reilly.
RDF previously acquired 20% of Blast! in 2007 before Coulthard bought the stake back in 2010 after RDF was taken over by Zodiak Media. Blast! will now utilise Sky’s international distribution arm Sky Vision. Blast!’s existing deals and commitments will remain unaffected.
Sky is believed to have beaten several rivals to the deal, which will give it access to Blast!’s new programming for its international distribution division Sky Vision.
“Blast! Films has an incredible pedigree. Ed Coulthard is a first-class producer, and together with Claire Bosworth and team, they have a production slate that combines creative excellence with real commercial appeal. We look forward to working with them to build on their success in the U.K. and internationally,” said Sky Vision managing director Jane Millichip.
Blast! was advised on the deal by Gerry Bastable at Red to Green and law firm Wiggin. Sky was advised by Taylor Wessing.