Indie distributor Gravitas Ventures has been snapped up by Red Arrow International, an arm of Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1. As part of the majority stake transaction announced today, all Gravitas Ventures employees will be retained and topper Nolan Gallagher, Michael Murphy and Brendan Gallagher will remain minority owners and continue to run the business.
No terms were disclosed. In December, Gravitas had hired investment bank Salem Partners to look for a buyer.
Gravitas, founded in 2006 by Nolan Gallagher and Murphy, has worldwide rights to more than 2,000 titles and releases more than 400 new ones each year. It reportedly generates about $30M a year and its closest competitors are labels like Magnolia Pictures. Gravitas was one of the first companies to develop a global network of digital media platforms as partners and has relationships with many of the key providers of VOD and SVOD content. Gravitas also distributes into theatres and brick and mortar retailers.
The deal aims to expand Red Arrow’s distribution scale, co-production and co-financing capacity, catalog breadth, and overall presence in the U.S. The plan is to boost investments in global film and TV projects via acquisitions, co-productions and co-financing deals.
“International distribution has been essential to our success from day one, Jan Frouman, chairman and CEO of Red Arrow Entertainment Group, said in a statement unveiling the deal. “In the future, scale in this space will become increasingly important. Nolan, Michael, Brendan and their team at Gravitas are whip-smart, and have created a great business — one we would be hard-pressed to replicate on our own. Partnering together, we will have tremendous capabilities to package and sell films and TV to the growing list of buyers worldwide.”
Red Arrow Entertainment Group now has 11 U.S.-based companies among its 21 worldwide, with Gravitas joining U.S.-based 44 Blue Productions, Kinetic Content, Fabrik Entertainment, Left/Right, Half Yard Productions, Karga Seven Pictures, Dorsey Pictures, Ripple Entertainment, 10Fold and Band of Outsiders.
Said CEO Nolan Gallagher: “We are excited to find a strategic partner in Red Arrow Entertainment who shares our vision to introduce compelling content to global audiences. Jan and the Red Arrow Entertainment Group of companies share our entrepreneurial mind-set and we are confident their collaborative nature, track record of production success, and leadership in the international distribution marketplace will be a tremendous benefit to our filmmakers in an evolving entertainment environment.”
Salem Partners and Greenberg Glusker advised Gravitas Ventures on the transaction. Red Arrow was advised by Stella EOC and Milbank.