EXCLUSIVE: The Content Group, the flagship division of Steve Michaels’ Asylum Entertainment Group, has acquired reality production company Collins Avenue Entertainment, which is behind Lifetime’s popular Dance Moms franchise, from Kew Media Group.
Under the deal, TCG will retain all of Collins Avenue’s physical assets, intellectual properties, contracts as well as key staff, including SVP of Development, Lindsay Schwartz.
Founded by Jeff Collins more than a decade ago, Collins Avenue is best known for producing eight seasons, eight spinoffs and specials of the Lifetime series Dance Moms, as well as the CW’s Fly Girls and Animal Planet’s American Stuffers. Jodi Flynn, President of TCG, will oversee the company.
Collins Avenue marks the first acquisition for TCG, which was launched in 2018 when Michaels bought back Asylum Entertainment from Legendary. TCG is the biggest of AEG’s portfolio of companies that also includes international scripted drama-focused Clovis Entertainment and podcast division Audity.
“Acquisitions are an integral part of our strategy as we continue to step forward in building a diversified content business,” said, Michaels, CEO of TCG and AEG. “Collins Avenue is a perfect fit for our company.”
Financial terms were not disclosed. Two years ago, Kew Media paid $104 million for six companies, the biggest of which, Content Media Corporation (no relation to Asylum’s The Content Group), brought in the five companies it controlled, including Collins Avenue.
TCG’s acquisition of Collins Avenue comes on the heels of Collins’ departure from the company earlier this month, with the fate of the flagship Dance Moms series in limbo at Lifetime. It also comes amid questions about Kew’s future.
Kew Media has been undertaking a strategic review of the business with the company open to being split up or sold. At the end of last year, the Leaving Neverland distributor revealed that its lenders had provided notice of an event of default under its senior credit facilities, which Kew said was due to the “inaccurate information” provided to them by the former CFO, Geoff Webb, who left the business.
There has been chatter that Kew Media Group may be bought by private equity investors, which would delist the company from the stock market. An asset sale could be another route, if the deal for Collins Avenue is any indication.
The Content Group was advised in the transaction by Michael P. Weisberg at Brutzkus Gubner.