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German media giant ProSiebensat 1 is selling the independent film distributor Gravitas Ventures to Anthem Sports & Entertainment, a holding company that owns AXS TV, HDNet Movies, Impact Wrestling, Fight Network and Game TV.
Gravitas Ventures had been part of ProSiebensat 1’s Red Arrow Studios. Founded by Nolan Gallagher in 2006, Gravitas was acquired by Red Arrow in 2017. The deal is valued at $73 million with additional common stock consideration, and will be a combination of cash and stock.
Gravitas, which is based in Cleveland, Ohio, acquires, produces and releases independent genre films, including thrillers, comedies, and documentaries like this year’s Queen Bees, starring Ellen Burstyn and James Caan, and the 2020 documentary, The Mole Agent, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the best documentary category.
While the company distributes its films for theatrical release, in recent years it has also embraced streaming and on-demand business models, selling its films through on-demand platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Google Play, as well as to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
The deal includes Gravitas’ 3,000 title catalogue, which Anthem says it hopes to exploit to bolster its linear and streaming offerings, and to help it forge relationships with other streaming platforms. The company also intends to launch free ad-supported streaming platforms (so-called “FAST” platforms) built around Gravitas content.
Gravitas CEO Gallagher, president Michael Murphy, executive vp and general counsel Brendan Gallagher and CFO Brian Kenyon will all remain with the company after closing.
“Anthem perfectly complements Gravitas Ventures’ mindset and mission, presenting several major platforms where our films can thrive while opening up dynamic new areas and opportunities that will be vital in helping our company grow,” said Gallagher in a statement.
The Gravitas CEO adds: “They have had tremendous success with all of their acquired properties, taking a hands-on approach that shows a great understanding for their unique products and what it takes to keep them on top in this highly competitive industry. We feel confident being a part of a talented Anthem team that is more than equipped to lead the charge for our filmmakers on this journey, and we could not be more excited to begin this new era in the legacy of Gravitas Ventures.”
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