Fremantle Media has acquired a 25% stake in former Fox head of alternative entertainment Simon Andreae’s new company Naked Entertainment. Andreae, who stepped down from Fox in January and has also worked at Channel 4 and Discovery, did previously launch a company in 2013 with backing from Sony but jumped ship only two months later to take up his post at Fox.
As with many of these deals, the Fremantle investment will cover elements of overhead and also distribution. Andreae also has a first-look deal with Fox for his U.S.-based projects. Naked is currently based at Fox’s London offices. Andreae’s goal is for the company to be generating half its revenue from America within two years, although the immediate focus will be on working with UK broadcasters. Andreae is currently putting his team together.
Fremantle has been on an acquisitions spree of late, acquiring a majority stake in French company Fontaram last week, as well as 25% of Corona TV in August and a majority 62.5% stake in Italian producer Wildside, the driving force behind Sky-HBO-Canal + co-production The Young Pope, starring Jude Law and written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino.
Further acquisitions are expected as Fremantle looks to ride the wave of consolidation taking place in the UK and Europe. The company was rumored to be one of the potential buyers kicking the heels of the Weinstein Company’s TV division, which was in advanced discussions to be acquired by ITV before that deal went south in May this year.
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