A deal a year in the making, Zodiak Entertainment has acquired RDF Media Group, one of the UK’s largest independent production and distribution companies, and in doing so has appointed former RDF CEO David Frank to serve as CEO of Zodiak Entertainment.
Lorenzo Pellicioli,CEO of De Agostini Group and chairman and CEO of Zodiak will continue to serve as chairman of the new, enlarged group whose combined annual revenues should ring in at roughly US$610 million with a distribution catalogue housing 10,000 hours of programming encompassing factual, kids, documentary, drama and film genres.
The deal brings together companies from across Europe, the US and South America, granting Zodiak presence in more than 20 countries, including the UK, the US, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and Russia.
Headquartered in Paris, Zodiak was originally created by De Agostini through the acquisition of the Magnolia Group in Italy/Spain (2007), the Marathon Group in France (2007) and Zodiak Television in territories including Scandinavia, Benelux, Poland, Russia, India and Latin America (2008). RDF was founded by David Frank in 1993 and was subsequently acquired in 2009 by a consortium of the RDF management team and funds managed by Cyrte Investments.
De Agostini now holds approximately 71% of the new entity, with the remaining 29% of Zodiak capital owned by Zodiak Managers (including RDF managers) and funds managed by Cyrte Investments BV.
As for how the deal will affect kid-centric divisions Marathon Media, Tele Images and now RDF Kids, look for a follow up from KidScreen Daily tomorrow.