French media group Mediawan Group, which grabbed headlines late last year with its acquisition of Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment, has launched a €100 million ($107 million) television development fund with backing from French private equity firm Entourage Ventures. The fund, details of which were announced Monday, will see Mediawan and Entourage finance high-end television series with 'strong international potential' over the next 4-6 years. Investment and revenue on the projects will be shared 50/50 between the two partners.
The fund will look to bankroll all forms of small-screen entertainment, from drama series to animation and documentaries. Mediawan's sales arm, Mediawan Rights, will handle distribution of the resulting series and will work with Entourage to co-develop and co-produce the projects. 'We are giving ourselves the tools to continue to invest massively in the most ambitious productions but also to support a greater number of projects,' said Mediawan Pictures CEO Elisabeth d'Arvieu and Mediawan Rights CEO Valérie Vleeschhouwer in a joint statement.
The fund can also be used for ongoing projects, such as Mediawan's Zorro reboot, produced by Spain's Secuoya Studios, or Civilizations, an adaptation of Laurent Binet's counter-factual history bestseller. Several projects under Mediawan Rights' family label, Mediawan Kids and Family Distribution, such as The Little Prince & Friends and Robin Hood, can be expected to tap the fund. 'The pool of strong intellectual property in European series, the fundamentals of this asset and the context of new financing requirements for streaming platforms make this partnership with Mediawan a very attractive opportunity,' said Matthias Nicodeme, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Entourage Ventures.
Entourage is a veteran entertainment investor, having helped raise more than $50 million in financing for some 40 French films. It first moved into TV with a slate finance deal, signed in 2019, with Media Musketeers, the group launched by ex-Apple executives Sebastien Janin and Andy Docherty and former Warner Bros. exec Chris Law.