Entertainment One has closed a deal to acquire a 65% interest in David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe’s unscripted production company Renegade 83, which is behind Discovery Channel’s hit Naked & Afraid. I’ve learned that the eOne has bought the majority stake for $23 million. The pact came after lengthy negotiations.
Following the transaction, Renegate 83 will continue to operate under its brand, with Garfinkle and Renfroe contining to lead the company as co-president & CEOs.
Garfinkle and Renfroe, who launched Renegade 83 in 1994, created Blind Date in 1999. The company has produced more than two dozen unscripted series for broadcast (Capture, Ready for Love), cable (Naked & Afraid, Men Women Wild) and first-run syndication (Blind Date, Excused). The company also has a scripted credit, USA Network’s sci-fi series The 4400.
Going forward, Renegade 83 will continue to create programming for broadcast networks, cable and first run syndication, which eOne will manage and control globally.
The Renegade 83 acquisition will boost UK-and Canada-based eOne’s unscripted output in the US where it produces David Spade’s comedy prank show Fameless on truTV and the long-running Mary Mary on WE tv. Additionally, in Canada, eOne and its wholly-owned companies Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment, have recently produced Keeping Canada Alive (CBC) and Great Wild North (History).
eOne has been in a growth mode via acquisitions. It also recently bought a 70% stake in Peppa Pig producer Astley Baker Davies worth $212 million and acquired 51% of the Mark Gordon Co. for $133 million to launch an independent scripted studio.
eOne was repped in the deal by Matt Thompson of Sidley Austin, LLP; with Richard Gray and Thomas Dey of ACF Investment Bank, and David Sands of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP for Renegade 83.