Stuart Ford Launches New Production and Sales Outift AGC Studios

2012-17 BIZ Executive Stuart Ford P IPAD
Andrew McLeod

Ford in his West Hollywood office; in the background are framed signed shirts from the Liverpool Football Club.

With backing from Silicon Valley, Latin America and Abu Dhabi, the former IM Global boss lays out plans to finance, produce and license big budget film and television content.

Stuart Ford, founder and former CEO of indie production and sales giant IM Global, is back in the saddle with a new outfit, AGC Studios.

Ford unveiled that he has received backing from Latin American private asset management firm MediaNet Partners, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Symantec CEO Greg Clark and Arabic entertainment group Image Nation Abu Dhabi, for the new outfit, which will recreate an IM Global-style production and sales operation, focusing on both film and television.

AGC Studios is looking to develop, produce, finance and sell globally feature films and television shows (scripted, non-scripted and factual), as well as digital and musical content. Based in L.A. and London, the new studio says it will have “a wide-ranging multicultural focus” and will focus on producing for Latino and urban audiences, as well more mainstream Hollywood fare.

As with IM Global, AGC will be looking to a wide range of partners for distribution of its slate, from the U.S. major studios and streaming platforms to traditional independent distributors and television networks, in the U.S. and abroad.

Former IM Global CFO Miguel Palos has joined AGC as the company's new chief operating officer.
AGC Studios will have three principal operating subsidiaries covering production, distribution and finance. Again following the IM Global playbook, it will also operate a global sales operation, AGC International. AGC Capital, the company's financing arm, will provide funds for development, production and postproduction, both for the studio's in-house projects and for third-party produced film and TV content, ranging from direct equity investment to soft money, bridge-capital and senior and mezzanine debt financing.

Ford said he will announce the senior management team to run the three business divisions of AGC in the coming weeks. AGC Capital will have its formal introduction to the market in Cannes later this year. The international market is hungry for big-budget mainstream films and high-end TV series, so it is likely to welcome a new player like AGC, especially if they are well capitalized. Ford will be able to draw on long-established global contacts and a proven track record for security top talent. 

Ford was forced out of IM Global, the company he founded, last summer, after the group, which Donald Tang's Tang Media took a majority stake in for $200 million in 2010, was merged with Tang Media's Open Road. The new group was rebranded Global Road and Rob Friedman, the former head of Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman, was brought in to run it.

Global Road piqued the interest of international distributors at Berlin's European Film Market last week when it unveiled plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years in production.