EXCLUSIVE: Quiver Entertainment, an offshoot of eOne executive Berry Meyerowitz and onetime Lionsgate Films president Jeff Sackman’s Quiver Distribution, has acquired the rights to Kew Media Distribution’s library of 1,000 titles.
Kew Media Distribution went bust in February and administrator FTI Consulting has overseen the sale of its catalog, within which it included the international rights to shows including hit BBC drama Line Of Duty and the HBO/Channel 4 Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland.
Nearly 40 companies expressed an interest in acquiring the library, which FTI then whittled down to nine potential buyers. It entered into exclusive talks with Quiver Entertainment after March 27. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
The sale has been far from straightforward. Prior to Kew Media Distribution going bust, a number of producers took action to terminate their contracts with the company after it failed to pay them royalties they were owed. The producers were alarmed to then discover that the distribution rights to their content was being sold by FTI.
Leaving Neverland producer Dan Reed and Nick Broomfield, the filmmaker behind Showtime’s Whitney: Can I Be Me, were among those who disputed the inclusion of their films in the sale process — and both told Deadline that they were prepared to take legal action to protect their rights. “I want to put them on notice that they are not entitled to sell that film,” BAFTA-winner Reed said in a message to a potential buyer, which we now know is Quiver.
Meyerowitz and Sackman struck a conciliatory tone in statements announcing their acquisition of the Kew Media Distribution library. “We have inherited partnerships with some of the most creative and respected producers in the industry, and we look forward to growing this business together,” said Meyerowitz. Sackman added: “We are excited to collaborate with all of our customers to continue to make this content available to audiences far and wide.”
Asked if Quiver will continue to exploit the global rights to disputed films, a representative told Deadline: “Quiver is eager to collaborate with all of its producers and content suppliers to distribute their content.”
Deadline revealed last week that Kew Media Distribution collapsed owing around 250 of its clients more than £10.8M ($13.3M) in unpaid royalties. Reed’s Amos Pictures was left nearly £523,000 out of pocket, while other notable creditors included CNN, Netflix, BBC Studios and Line Of Duty producer World Productions.
Kew Media Distribution’s catalog included feature films such as Rules Of Engagement and Simon Pegg’s Hector And The Search For Happiness; TV dramas including The Driver and The Bletchley Circle; and documentaries like Harry and Meghan: A Very Modern Royal Romance and Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.