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Osborne Clarke advises Barcroft Studios on its acquisition by Future plc


Written on 15 November 2019

Osborne Clarke acts for the award-winning TV & digital video producer

International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised award-winning UK factual TV and digital video production company, Barcroft Studios, on its 100% acquisition by global multi-platform media company Future plc for a total consideration of £23.5 million, to be satisfied in a combination of cash and Future shares.

The deal will enable Barcroft Studios, which produces premium factual programming for streaming platforms, TV networks and social media companies, to accelerate the creation, production and distribution of their award-winning original series. Recent productions include ‘Amazing Interiors’ for Netflix, ‘The Day the Dinosaurs Died’ for BBC Two and ‘Most Incredible Homes’ for Facebook Watch.

Barcroft Studios has pioneered a unique digital-to-TV incubation approach.  To date, the company has established 15 original self-funded digital series, including ‘Extreme Love’, ‘Born Different’ and ‘Beastly’, which have attracted over 63 million followers across social video platforms including YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook. Many of these brands have subsequently been adapted as TV shows for broadcast networks and VOD platforms, with more to follow in 2020.

The acquisition will also see Barcroft Studios developing and producing original TV programming and video content for Future’s portfolio of over 180 media brands, creating heightened engagement with consumers and new revenue streams. Future’s media portfolio includes iconic titles such as FourFourTwo, Total Film, T3 and GamesRadar+.

The sale process is expected to be completed by the end of November and comes three years after Channel 4 acquired a minority stake in Barcroft Media via its Indie Growth Fund and sees the broadcaster exit from the business.

The Osborne Clarke team was led by Associate Director Ken Wilkinson, with assistance from Partner Mathias Loertscher and Associates Josephine Healy and Katie Tait.

Sam Barcroft, CEO of Barcroft Studios noted “Ken, Mathias and the Osborne Clarke team have been fantastic. Their calm and considered approach has been valuable throughout our sale process. I’d recommend them wholeheartedly.”

Osborne Clarke’s Corporate team is considered a go-to practice for many companies in the tech, media and comms sector, working with global businesses to fast-growth start-ups and market challengers. The team advises at every stage of company development across all corporate issues, from equity and debt fundraisings to M&A, IPOs and JVs.