Red Arrow Studios has agreed to sell Gravitas Ventures, the prolific narrative film and documentary distributor with a 3,000-title catalogue, to Anthem Sports & Entertainment, a multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Toronto.
Red Arrow is the content production and distribution arm of Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Group.
The deal, which will launch Gravitas into television distribution, was based on a cash purchase price of $73 million and an additional common stock consideration component.
Anthem owns seven consumer-facing streaming channels: AXS TV (music and entertainment) and HDNET Movies — acquired from Mark Cuban in 2019; Impact Wrestling; Invicta Fighting Championships (all-women mixed martial arts); Fight Network (combat sports); Game+ (esports and gaming); GameTV (game shows, reality series); and a significant ownership in outdoor network Pursuit Channel. Anthem and Gravitas will develop new themed channels.
Cleveland-based Gravitas was founded in 2006 and acquired by Red Arrow in 2017. It releases over 300 films a year working with rising talent and established artists and has developed strong partnerships with leading providers throughout AVOD, PVOD, VOD, SVOD, electronic sell through, electronic rental and theatrical. Releases include Quees Bees directed by Michael Lembeck, starring Ellen Burstyn and James Caan; The Secret: Dare To Dream directed by Andy Tennant and starring Katie Holmes; Our Friend, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel; and Vanguard, directed by Stanley Tong and starring Jackie Chan.
Gravitas founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher, president Michael Murphy, EVP and general counsel Brendan Gallagher and CFO Brian Kenyon will join the Anthem executive team and the entire Gravitas Ventures organization will remain intact.
“This is a significant step forward for Anthem in its mission to build a next-generation media company that is primed for the digital future, keeping Anthem ahead of the curve with the current trajectory of the fast-paced streaming-first entertainment ecosystem,” said Anthem founder-CEO Leonard Asper, a former head of Canadian broadcaster CanWest Global Communications.
“Anthem perfectly complements Gravitas Ventures’ mindset and mission, presenting several major platforms where our films can thrive while opening up dynamic new areas and opportunities that will be vital in helping our company grow,” said Gallagher. He called the Anthem team “more than equipped to lead the charge for our filmmakers on this journey.”
New York-based Progress Partners led by Chris Legg acted as M&A financial advisors to Anthem.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.