In a move towards international, LA-based Critical Content has made a strategic investment in UK production company Renowned Films. Founded in 2012, Renowned makes unscripted, factual entertainment, features and documentaries for TV and digital. Back in 2015, Channel 4 took a share of the company that was launched by BBC radio host Duane Jones along with Max Welch and Tim Withers.
The terms of the deal call for Critical to acquire the Renowned stake owned by Channel 4’s Growth Fund, plus additional shares in the company. Critical’s CEO Tom Forman and EVP and CFO Christoph Pachler will join the board of Renowned.
Critical, the company formed after Relativity’s TV operation emerged from bankruptcy in 2015, says the deal will enable Renowned to amplify its current roster and expand its digital and branded development capability in the UK and U.S.
Says Forman, “Renowned is an ambitious, forward-thinking company and we are excited that our investment will enable the company to expand its portfolio and widen its reach. Factual is a vibrant space and British companies are among the world leaders. We are thrilled to be investing in Renowned and we look forward to introducing these next generation content creators to our American buyers. Renowned has its fingers on the cultural pulse and seamlessly moves between TV, digital, and branded, and from high budget to low.”
Welch says the investment will allow Renowned to “turbo-charge” growth. Credits already include The Women Who Kill Lions for Channel 4, and BBC film NYPD: Biggest Gang In New York? (Copwatchers). One of the most recent commissions will see Renowned take YouTube sensation Elijah Quashie, aka The Chicken Connoisseur, to mainstream attention on Channel 4 in The Peng Life.