Fremantle acquires majority stake in 72 Films

Fremantle today announced it has acquired a majority stake in David Glover and Mark Raphael’s 72 Films, the hit making independent TV production company behind global phenomenon sports documentary series All or Nothing: Arsenal, and the Emmy®-award winning outstanding historical documentary 9/11: One Day in America.

The acquisition of 72 Films further underlines Fremantle’s strategic plan to invest in and help develop premium production companies with the world’s most exceptional creative talent.

72 Films and Fremantle share a passion for iconic, imaginative storytelling and under the deal, Fremantle will provide its global infrastructure, distribution, and specialist support across the 27 territories in which it operates around the world.  The deal further reaffirms Fremantle’s commitment and ambition to grow its global documentaries proposition working with the very best filmmaking talent.

The deal was spearheaded by Fremantle’s UK CEO, Simon Andreae.

72 Films recent television productions include BBC documentary series, The Elon Musk Show, which provides an intimate story uncovering how Musk became the world’s richest man (distributed globally by Fremantle), and the two-part Netflix documentary Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story. This follows on from 72 Films’ Emmy®-award winning historical documentary series, 9/11: One Day in America, nominated in six categories, and achieving huge acclaim as well as record audience numbers.

For two years in a row 72 Films has been voted the Best Independent Television Production Company in the UK via the Televisual industry poll.

David Glover and Mark Raphael, Founders of 72 Films, said: “At this stage of 72’s development, there are great advantages and opportunities of joining forces with Fremantle. Their extensive international infrastructure and expertise will provide 72 Films with the platform to have our work seen across the world. We know and like their excellent team. And they offer us not only fantastic support but complete creative freedom so we can continue to work in the same way.”

Jennifer Mullin, Group CEO, Fremantle, said: “Fremantle is proud to invest and work with the very best creative minds in the business. David and Mark, and their team at 72 Films are exceptional talents, all of whom take enormous pride in their storytelling and filmmaking, and we are thrilled to have them part of our family.”

Simon Andreae, CEO, Fremantle UK: Mark, David and the 72 Films family have developed an unrivalled reputation for telling the world’s most fascinating stories with real freshness and flair. We are delighted to welcome them into the Fremantle family and look forward to supporting them in whatever ways we can as they continue to grow and flourish.”

The investment in 72 Films follows the acquisitions over the past 12 months which include UK production company Dancing Ledge (The Responder), scripted Italian production company Lux Vide (Devils, Leonardo), international development and production company Fabel (Bosch), Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance, Finding Magic Mike) and UK unscripted production company Label1 (Hospital, Five Guys a Week, Soldier), 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group (This is Nice Group), and most recently Irish production company Element Pictures (Normal People, The Favourite).

In August 2021, RTL Group announced its aim to increase Fremantle’s full-year revenue target to €3 billion by 2025. The acquisition of 72 Films forms part of Fremantle’s wider growth strategy to invest in production companies, content, and talent around the world to source the best creative ideas, develop and create strong and unmissable IP.

72 Films was advised by ACF Investment Bank with commercial support from Matisse.