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Meyer left the company under somewhat scandalous auspices after he disclosed an affair with actress Charlotte Kirk. NBCUniversal and Meyer ultimately came to a settlement agreement related to his departure last month.
At first glance, Wild Bunch could seem an odd fit for Meyer. The European film and TV group is known for its, well, wild, approach. Launched in the 1990s as the sales arm of Studiocanal, the French group, led by founding partners Vincent Maraval, Vincent Grimond, Brahim Chioua, and Alain de la Mata, spun off in 2002 and went on to finance, produce, co-produce, or distribute such films as City of God; March of the Penguins and Pan’s Labyrinth. Using the Cannes Film Festival as a springboard, Wild Bunch helped launch such auteur directors as Gaspar Noe (Irreversible), Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue Is the Warmest Color), or Julia Ducournau (Raw) on the world stage. The company can also be credited with popularizing the films of Studio Ghibli, including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro, outside of Japan. As Studio Ghibli’s French distribution partner, Wild Bunch International helped make the anime classics worldwide hits and last year negotiated a global deal (i.e., outside the U.S., Canada and Japan) with Netflix for a package of 21 Studio Ghibli films.
It remains to be seen how Wild Bunch corporate culture will shift under Meyer and new co-CEO Sophie Jordan. Jordan joins from beIN Media group, where she was special adviser to the chairman and general counsel.
Investment firm Tennor Group, which controls Wild Bunch and announced the Meyer and Jordan appointments, said the new duo “will oversee and facilitate new investments to create ground-breaking, premium content across film and television for global audiences [and] utilize additional financial resources on strategic acquisitions of other businesses to help Wild Bunch expand its domestic and international presence in production and distribution.”
In a statement, Meyer called Tennor Group CEO Lars Windhorst “one of the most dynamic and courageous business entrepreneurs that I have met,” adding that “the opportunity of partnering with him became irresistible.”
“With Ron and Sophie’s experience and network, we will build Wild Bunch into one of the leading content film and television production companies and expect huge value creation for Tennor Group,” Windhorst said in his own statement.
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