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Fremantle to buy European production studio Asacha Media Group

RTL Group-owned Fremantle has entered into a conditional purchase agreement to acquire fellow European production group Asacha Media Group and its portfolio of labels in France, Italy and the UK.

Andrea Scrosati

The deal, specific financial details of which were not disclosed, sees Fremantle acquire the group from Asacha’s founding partners, managers and funds, managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

RTL Group said it had invested over €200m (US$216m) in acquiring Asacha and its recent deal for a majority stake in Singapore-based prodco Beach House Pictures (BHP) from Canada’s Blue Ant Media. Under the latter agreement, Fremantle has the option to fully acquire BHP after 2027.

Asacha is made up of eight labels across scripted, unscripted and feature films. These are: Kabo Family (France), Mintee (France), Srab Films (France), Picomedia (Italy), Stand By Me (Italy), Arrow Media (UK), Red Planet Pictures (UK) and Wag (UK).

Fremantle said the acquisition was spearheaded by its group chief operating officer and CEO for continental Europe, Andrea Scrosati, and comes as the firm continues to invest in and set up international production companies and creative talent, having acquired 13 companies in the past three years.

The group has steadily grown in recent years, going from owning 34 production companies in 2019 to having well over 50 in its portfolio in 2024. The deal for Asacha, which is subject to customary closing conditions, sees it continue to expand in both scripted and unscripted.

Gaspard de Chavagnac

Headquartered in Paris, Asacha will continue to be run by co-founder and group CEO Gaspard de Chavagnac, who will report to Scrosati.

De Chavagnac will continue to be supported by Asacha chief content officer Marina Williams. The portfolio of labels in France, Italy and the UK will continue to report to de Chavagnac.

Created in 2020 by de Chavagnac, Marc-Antoine d’Halluin and Williams, Asacha has a slate of international IP including Death in Paradise and Beyond Paradise (Red Planet Pictures, BBC One); Mare Fuori and La Storia (Picomedia, Rai 1); Saint Omer (Srab Films); and Cimetiere Indien (Mintee Studio, Canal+ France).

It also produces Don’t Pick up the Phone (Wag, Netflix/Paramount); Instagram’s Worst Con Artist (Wag, ITVX); See No Evil (Arrow Media, Discovery ID); Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Arrow Media, Disney+/Nat Geo); It’s Lunch Time (Stand By Me, Rai1); Diaries (Stand By Me, Netflix); Scènes de Ménages (Kabo) and General Men (Stand by Me, Rai 1).

Fremantle said its existing businesses in the regions in which Asacha operates – which include Talkback, Thames, Naked, Label 1, Euston Films, Dancing Ledge Productions, Wildstar Films and 72 Films (UK); Fremantle France, Kwaï (France); and Fremantle Italy, The Apartment Pictures, Wildside and Lux Vide (Italy) – will be “unaffected by the deal” and “continue to operate and report to the current Fremantle structure as before.”

Scrosati said: “Fremantle is proud to be investing and partnering with the very best international creative talent. Gaspard de Chavagnac, Marina Williams and Marc-Antoine d’Halluin and the incredible producers and talents that have created Asacha certainly fall into this category, and we are delighted they have chosen to join the Fremantle family.

“They have built an impressive portfolio of market-leading labels, each of which perfectly complements our existing businesses in each of their markets. This strategic deal underlines both companies’ ambitious growth targets and we look forward to collaborating with their immensely talented creatives across the group.”

De Chavagnac added: “I am thrilled about this deal with Fremantle, one of the world’s leading studios for television and movie production. Fremantle will bring all its expertise and resources in premium content development and distribution, to accelerate the growth of our fantastic creative labels. I am very excited to pursue this exciting journey with Andrea Scrosati and all the Fremantle team. I also want to thank Oaktree for their support in our growth so far.”

Mario Adario, Asacha’s chairman and MD at Oaktree Capital Management, said: “In 2020, Oaktree launched, together with the management team, the Asacha Media Group platform with the acquisition of three production companies in France and Italy. In less than four years, Asacha has become a leader in the media industry under the stewardship of an exceptional team. We believe Fremantle is the right partner for the next chapter of Asacha’s growth.”

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