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Asacha buys into Death in Paradise firm

Pan-European content creator and producer Asacha Media Group (AMG) has taken a majority stake in Death in Paradise producer Red Planet Pictures in the UK.

Marina Williams

The acquisition, financial details of which were not disclosed, marks the latest move by AMG to expand its presence in the UK, following its deal for London-based factual producer and distributor Wag Entertainment in February.

Asacha and Red Planet are also planning to grow their business in emerging markets by combining established UK writing talent with strong local stories.

This includes regions such as the Middle East and Eastern Europe, where Red Planet founder Tony Jordan has created dramas such as Besa for Serbian Television and Al Mirath for MBC.

Former Endemol Shine exec Marina Williams, ex-Banijay exec Gaspard de Chavagnac and ex-Zodiak Media CEO Marc-Antoine d’Halluin formed AMG in April last year.

Backed by US finance group Oaktree Captial Management, it launched with the acquisition of majority stakes in three existing production outfits: Italy’s Picomedia and Stand By Me, and French prodco Mintee Studio.

Red Planet, which was advised by Helion Partners on the AMG deal, will now pursue coproductions and local adaptations with AMG’s network across Europe.

Tony Jordan

The deal comes as Red Planet grows its slate of drama productions. These include long-running BBC murder mystery series Death in Paradise, which is set to enter its 12th season and has been sold into more than 230 markets, and Sanditon, an adaptation of an unfinished Jane Austen novel by Andrew Davies for Masterpiece in the US and BritBox UK.

The company, which is led by joint MDs Belinda Campbell and Alex Jones, was founded in 2006 by multi-award-winning showrunner Jordan, who now serves as executive chairman. Jordan, Campbell and Jones will become minority shareholders in AMG as a result of the deal.

Red Planet was advised by Tom Manwaring of Helion Partners on its acquisition by AMG.

De Chavagnac and Williams, AMG’s co-CEOs, said in a joint statement: “One year on from launching Asacha Media Group, we are excited to be further strengthening our UK presence by acquiring Red Planet Pictures.

Belinda Campbell

“Under the leadership of Tony, Belinda and Alex, the Red Planet team has achieved an exceptional track record of producing returning hits that captivate global audiences. This acquisition will enhance our ability to serve leading platforms around the world and is another milestone in AMG’s roadmap to become a leading European content provider.”

Campbell and Jones added in a joint statement: “In Asacha we have found a partner with whom we can further our ambitions in producing high-quality, popular drama that resonates on a global stage.

“Working with Marina and Gaspard, we will benefit from not only a wider network across EMEA and beyond, but also like-minded creatives and the extended AMG family for exciting coproduction opportunities.”

Jordan said: “We found a real connection with Marina and Gaspard and in Asacha’s ambition and philosophy. The group is a great fit, both creatively and commercially. I’m excited to be working together, creating stories that will connect with audiences across the world.”

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