Redbird IMI Confirms All3Media Buy

The All3Media sale saga has drawn to a close after almost a year with RedBird IMI confirming the acquisition of The Traitors superindie from Warner Bros. Discovery and Liberty Global for £1.15B ($1.45B).

Jeff Zucker and Gerry Cardinale‘s RedBird IMI takes control of a 50-label outfit with production entities across the world that owns the likes of Fleabag maker Two Brothers Pictures, Traitors producer Studio Lambert and 1917’s Neal Street. The deal will complete in Q2 or Q3 of this year subject to regulatory approvals.

All3Media CEO Jane Turton and COO Sara Geater will continue to lead the company, RedBird said.

“All3Media is one of the world’s great content companies, and this gives us an incredible platform to continue to grow our expanding portfolio,” Zucker said. “The demand for new shows and ongoing existing series, both scripted and unscripted, makes All3 a perfect fit for us.”

Turton added: “Joining forces with Jeff and the RedBird IMI team is an exciting next step for us as we continue to build All3Media. Our strategy remains to work with the world’s best talent, developing and producing high quality, popular programmes and RedBird IMI’s support and investment will be key in helping us deliver this. I am very proud of all that we have built over the past few years, and I am looking forward to working with the RedBird IMI team as we take this important next step.”

The private equity group had emerged as frontrunner late last year, at which point previous frontrunner Banijay pulled out of the race. At that point, it appeared a deal might be struck quickly, but we have heard there have been delays over recent weeks as RedBird execs negotiated with the All3 parents.

Redbird IMI is 75%-owned by Abu Dhabi and was formed in 2022. RedBird Capital, which owns the other share, has a roster including Skydance Media, the YES Network, and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Artists Equity. RedBird also teamed with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia to buy the XFL out of bankruptcy. RedBird IMI has already been pushing into the UK with the attempted acquisition of the Telegraph and Spectator magazines, although that has been held up by regulators amid intense scrutiny of British media ownership rules.

All eyes now on how RedBird looks to rejig the Turton-run super-indie, coming at a difficult time for a sector in flux. Around 250 people are being laid off at one of All3’s main clients, Channel 4, and several UK production labels have been shuttered in recent weeks.

WBD and Liberty will be delighted with the final sale price, which works out at around 12 times All3’s EBITDA and is just over double the sum they paid for All3 a decade ago. The outfit was put up for sale last year valued at around £1B and bidders have included ITV, which had to go public with its interest, Banijay, Peter Chernin’s North Road and a private equity bid from Goldman Sachs. We understand some bidders had balked at All3Media’s quite considerable debt pile, which amounts to some £760M.

All3Media revenues rocketed 17% to £1B ($1.3B) last year, as we revealed in late June. EBITDA shot up by a similar proportion to £100M and total group operating profit was up from £26M to £40M.

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