Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent Kew Media Group’s Stake In Business

Manori Ravindran

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Two Rivers Media has bought out parent group Kew Media Group’s minority stake in the business.

Formed by former STV Productions head Alan Clements in January 2019, the production outfit behind Channel 5’s recent “Susan Hill’s Ghost Story” launched with the backing of Kew, Noble Grossart Investments and Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund.

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Noble Grossart Investments and Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund are increasing their interests to facilitate the buy-out.

The buy-out comes a month after Kew Media Group triggered a strategic review of its business, revealing that the company could be broken up or sold completely following a financially turbulent period for Kew.

Kew was launched by Steven Silver and Peter Sussman in 2017, and owns a roster of Canadian production companies such as Bristow Global Media, Frantic Films and Our House Media, as well as distribution outfits Content Media, which became Kew Media Distribution, and TCB Media Rights. 

The business hit financial difficulties in the last year, reporting Q3 revenues of $47.5 million (US$36.3 million), down 5% from a year prior ($52.8 million) – a dip that was attributed to production subsidiary Essential Media Group losing a key U.S. show.

Kew announced a strategic review of the business in December, forming a special committee to explore the sales of assets, a potential merger or a complete sale. The company said at the time that CFO Geoff Webb submitted inaccurate financial reports regarding Kew’s working capital.

Last week, Jeff Collins, founder of Kew-owned “Dance Moms” producer Collins Avenue Entertainment, revealed his exit from the business. This follows the departures last year of Essential Media Group CEO Chris Hilton and Bristow Global Media boss Julie Bristow.

It is believed that private equity investors are the frontrunners to snap up businesses within Kew.

Rob Woodward, chair of Two Rivers Media, said: “Despite being only a year old, Two Rivers has got off to a flying start and is establishing itself as one of the UK’s leading regional indies. We produced ‘Susan Hill’s Ghost Story’ on Channel 5 at Christmas; Frankie Boyle’s ‘Tour of Scotland’ for BBC Two will transmit soon; and we have a number of very high profile projects in discussion with a wide range of broadcasters.

“The buy out of Kew’s interest is by mutual agreement. They have been a strong partner for the company, and we wish to thank them for their support. It is an exciting time for Two Rivers, so we are delighted that Noble Grossart Investments and Channel 4 are increasing their interests in the company.”

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