EXCLUSIVE: Kew Media Distribution’s collapse has left more than 250 of its clients £10.8M ($13.4M) out of pocket, according to a report that lays bare the financial damage of the TV and film sales house’s demise.
Kew Media Distribution’s parent company Kew Media Group went bust in February, but warning lights were flashing well before the crash, as the distribution arm’s clients complained about being owed royalties.
Now, a report by Kew Media Distribution’s administrator FTI Consulting has revealed that the company owed nearly £11M to producers and other clients all over the world, including Netflix and CNN.
The figure is a combination of claims made by partners and Kew Media Distribution records, but FTI said the final total is likely to be higher, given the distributor did not share complete sales reports with all clients.
FTI added that it does not expect producers to recover this money in any meaningful way — even after it has completed a sale of Kew Media Distribution’s library.
The report reveals that Leaving Neverland producer Amos Pictures is among Kew Media Distribution’s biggest creditors. The company is owed nearly £523,000 in royalties after Kew Media Distribution sold its HBO/Channel 4 film on Michael Jackson internationally.
Amos founder Dan Reed terminated his Leaving Neverland distribution deal with Kew Media Distribution, but FTI is not acknowledging the termination and is including the title in its sale of the library. Reed told Deadline he is prepared to take legal action to protect his rights.
Other notable creditors include World Productions, which used Kew Media Distribution to sell its hit BBC One drama Line Of Duty internationally. The ITV Studios-owned company is owed nearly £66,000.
CNN (£399,000), Netflix (£79,000), BBC Studios (£90,000), Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures (£36,000), Studio Canal (£17,000), Nick Broomfield’s Lafayette Films (£16,000) and Ecosse Films (£8,000) are also among those owed money.
FTI said a sale of the Kew Media Distribution library is in the advanced stages and it is in exclusive negotiations with one buyer. It received initial expressions of interest from 38 companies, including private equity and film and TV distribution firms. “It is not certain that a successful sale will be completed,” FTI warned.
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