Pan-European super indie Asacha Media Group has acquired a majority stake in UK-headquartered factual production company Arrow International Media.
Founded in 2011 by Tom Brisley, John Smithson, and Iain Pelling, Arrow has grown to become a major producer of premium factual content. The company is the UK’s largest independent supplier of true crime programming and delivers over 100 hours across genres that include history, nature, adventure and science.
Arrow’s recent slate includes See No Evil and American Monster for Investigation Discovery, Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom for National Geographic and Disney+ and Seven Days on Mars for the BBC.
The acquisition of Arrow, financed with a mix of equity provided by the existing shareholders and debt financing provided by Tikehau Capital, represents a significant expansion for Asacha in the factual space, while adding a strong new US presence.
As part of Asacha, Arrow will pursue further growth in the UK and US, while expanding into new markets and exploring international co-production opportunities with other factual producers within the pan-European group.
Tom Brisley and Iain Pelling will continue to lead Arrow as Co-Managing Directors, while John Smithson has chosen to step back from the company. He will deliver his current productions and then work independently, with Arrow and Asacha having a first look deal on new projects.
Brisley and Pelling will retain a minority stake in Arrow, while Brisley also becomes a shareholder in Asacha, alongside the founders of the business and other managers of Asacha’s production companies, who also reinvested in the Group.
Asacha launched in April 2020 with majority stakes in Italian production houses Picomedia and Stand By Me, and French production company Mintee Studio.
The Paris-headquartered business has continued to invest in producers across Europe. This has included taking controlling stakes in UK factual producer WAG Entertainment, leading UK drama producer Red Planet Pictures, French scripted studios Kabo Family and French producer Srab Films Gaspard de Chavagnac and Marina Williams, Asacha’s co-CEOs, said: “Arrow’s market-leading position in the fast-growing factual space, along with their strong leadership and ambitious plans for the future, make them an ideal fit for Asacha. Bringing them into our Group makes us a major player in English language factual across key markets including the US and UK.”
Brisley said: “Asacha is one of the hottest groups in the TV industry. They are dynamic and fleet of foot, with excellent relationships across Europe, a market we would love to explore further, as well as having huge international ambitions. With the same culture and high-quality delivery as Arrow, the access they give us into new markets makes them the perfect partner. Becoming part of an independent group allows Arrow the freedom to continue to work for anyone, anywhere and everywhere. We are thrilled to be joining forces with Asacha. They match our ambitions and our understanding of Arrow’s global potential.”