EXCLUSIVE: Valence Media has acquired a significant minority stake in Fulwell 73, the Emmy-winning British independent production company run by partners Ben Winston, Leo Pearlman, Gabe Turner, Ben Turner and James Corden. Valence Media paid around $60 million in cash and Valence equity for the stake. Based in London and Los Angeles, Fulwell 73 will continue to operate as an independent entity under its existing management structure, led by the five partners who’ve been friends since their school days. Fulwell 73 produces The Late Late Show With James Corden, the shows Carpool Karaoke and Drop the Mic and documentaries that include Class of 92, I Am Bolt, and One Direction 3D: This Is Us.
The company has generated viral short form programming, TV programming and docus for music and sports talent that includes Bruno Mars, Harry Styles, Sam Smith, and producing feature documentaries with the likes of David Beckham and Usain Bolt. They have been named as producers for Global Citizens forthcoming live event from South Africa with Beyonce, Jay Z and Oprah, and they have also been announced as the new producers of “Stand Up To Cancer.” The company has also made commercials for brands including Keurig, Apple Music, Samsung, to new shows for digital platforms like YouTube (Jack Whitehall’s Training Days) and Snapchat (James Corden’s Next James Corden).
“We have been on the most amazing journey for the last 10 years and the time is absolutely right for us to take this next significant step,” said Fulwell 73’s Pearlman. “As a company we have never stood still and in Valence we now have a partner that can support the ambitions we have for growth, match our entrepreneurial spirit and share our demand for the highest creative standards, whilst allowing us to retain the independence that has been so integral to our success. We are very proud to work with some of the biggest names in the world across music, sport and comedy and this deal will give us an even bigger opportunity to showcase that immense talent across the wide range of medium, genre and platforms that we have become known for.”
Valence Media owns House of Cards producer MRC, dick clark productions, The Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, and a minority interest in A24. Its co-CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk called Fulwell 73 “a leader in incorporating music, comedy and sports in innovative ways across its global TV, documentary, digital and film content. Each of Fulwell 73’s partners uniquely combines artistry and entrepreneurship and together they have built a remarkable organization that shares these capabilities,” they said.
Fulwell 73 was advised on this investment by Jonathan Norman and Daniel Fugmann from Stella EOC, BDO and Michael Brader and Jason Fisher from Wiggin. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel to Valence Media.