Newen targets UK media production companies with €50MN war chest | Major Businesses | Business
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Basking in the success of Versailles, TF1’s TV production and distribution subsidiary Newen Group has announced the launch of a €50 million investment fund focused on acquiring UK drama.

versailles 18 JanThe distribution company says it is actively looking to make significant investments to support producer’s projects from early development to deficit funding. Its international distribution business, Newen Distribution, will invest in high-end scripted series from UK production companies through the fund, in order to build a strong presence in English-speaking content.

In addition to Versailles, Newen has delivered some of France’s most successful drama series, such as the Emmy-award-winning Braquo for Canal+, as well as the hit daily series Plus belle la vie and the long-running, female-driven cop show Candice Renoir for public broadcaster France Télévisions. It also sold the hit cop drama Spiral to the BBC, the first ever sale of a non-English language prime time drama series to the corporation. This was also the first non-English language series sold to Netflix USA in 2011.

To achieve its aims, the company will look to partner on three to four what it believes will be outstanding scripted series, both returning and mini-series. The investment will be supported by an international sales presence headquartered in Paris, a strong emphasis on global marketing and a new London office focused on UK content partnerships. Julien Leroux has been appointed as its Executive Vice President of Sales & Content Development.

“We all know the challenges distributors face in funding the best drama in the UK market. We believe that it is the perfect time to be proactive in the UK, offering producers cash at an early stage, rapid decision-making and privileged access to major Continental European markets, as well as our strong worldwide trading relationships,” explained Newen Distribution managing director Malika Abdellaoui. “We want to apply Newen’s successful entrepreneurial spirit to the UK distribution and coproduction market. We are open to different kinds of partnership to create a special route between Europe through core territories such as France, giving access to more financing and broadcasters at a very early stage. The Newen group is ready to take risks and, thanks to its own production pipeline, can offer far more than just investment.”