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eOne acquires Renegade 83

Transatlantic producer and distributor Entertainment One (eOne) has continued its recent expansion strategy with the US$23m purchase of a controlling stake in US reality producer Renegade 83.

Renegade 83's David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe

Renegade 83’s David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe

The deal gives eOne a 65% stake in David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe’s company, which launched in 1994 and is best known for series including Discovery’s Naked & Afraid.

Garfinkle and Renfroe will remain as co-president and CEOs at the prodco, which has also produced Fit to Fat to Fit, 4400, The Kennedy Detail and Blind Date.

The California-based firm creates programming for broadcast networks, cable and first run syndication, which eOne will now manage and control globally.

John Morayniss, eOne Television’s CEO, described Renegade as “truly best-in-class with a winning formula and a strong track record of success in unscripted television.

“Renegade complements our expansive reality slate and augments our ever-growing creative pipeline with authentic stories for audiences both at home and around the world.”

Garfinkle and Renfroe added: “As an indie studio, eOne’s vast distribution network and deep international relationships will support us in our growth and open the door to exciting new partnerships that will enable us to make standout programming with greater reach.”

eOne claims it is poised to deliver more than 400 hours of unscripted television this year in the North American market, where its shows include David Spade’s comedy prank series Fameless for truTV and Mary Mary for WE tv.

The company, which set a target in 2014 to double its size within five years, has had a turbulent six months however after seeing its market value plummet by around US$450m after investors fretted over debt refinancing and the profitability of its movie business.

The company also recently bought a controlling stake in hit children’s title Peppa Pig from the brand’s co-owner Astley Baker Davies in September, having previously shelled out US$132.6m for a majority stake in Grey’s Anatomy producer The Mark Gordon Company.

Other acquisitions over recent years include Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment. The firm also signed an overall first-look deal with veteran reality producer Chris Deaux and his fledgling shingle earlier this year, following a multi-year arrangement with producers Matt Anderson and Nate Green’s Purveyors of Pop to develop and coproduce unscripted content across multiple platforms.

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