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Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook acquires Germany’s Telepool

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s US production shingle Westbrook has acquired full control of Telepool, appointing the German company’s CEO Jan Frouman to lead a new division, Westbrook International Holdings.

Will Smith (photo: TechCrunch via CC)

Westbrook is acquiring all of Telepool, including the 50% stake acquired by The Smith Family Circle in 2018 and the 50% stake previously owned by Swiss venture capital firm Elysian Invest, and taking full control of the licensing and distribution business and its subsidiaries. The Smith Family Circle manages the business assets of the Smith family.

Telepool will fall under the newly created Westbrook International Holdings. Telepool CEO Frouman – who was chairman and CEO of Red Arrow International, the German distributor he launched 20 years ago, until his departure in 2018 – has been tapped as president of Westbrook International Holdings.

Westbrook launched in July 2019 and earlier this week received investment from Candle Media, the venture led by Disney alumni Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs.

Westbrook said the acquisition would expand its capabilities in international content development, financing, production and distribution. The company already houses prodco Westbrook Studios, IP incubator Westbrook Media, Red Table Talk Productions and consumer products arm Good Goods.

Jan Frouman

In addition to making investments in premium content companies, Westbrook has also said it intends to expand its global footprint by partnering with diverse storytellers and artists and rolling out existing operations in film, TV, content marketing and branded entertainment.

It has recently announced partnerships with EbonyLife, one of Nigeria’s leading content companies, and Yasushi Akimoto’s Akimoto Project to create film and TV content.

Telepool, meanwhile, holds the German distribution rights to Will Smith’s recently released film King Richard, produced by Westbrook Studios for Warner Bros. The film tells the story of Richard Williams, father of tennis greats Serena and Venus. Before its acquisition by The Smith Family Circle and Elysian in 2018, it was owned by German public broadcaster shareholders Bayerischer Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, SWR Media Services and Telvetia.

Ko Yada, Westbrook’s CEO, said: “Westbrook’s acquisition of Telepool and the launch of Westbrook International Holdings enables us to truly reach a global community, furthering our mission to empower artists to tell stories that connect the world.

“By aligning with best-in-market creative teams, financing development and expanding distribution, we will accelerate our ability to share universal stories that resonate with a global audience.”


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