eOne Acquires 51% Stake in The Mark Gordon Company
By Leo Barraclough for Variety
The U.K. and Canada based film and TV company Entertainment One has acquired a 51% stake in The Mark Gordon Company, the production outfit behind “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Saving Private Ryan.” The deal is worth $132.6 million.
The partners will create a new independent studio, which will finance and produce movies and TV shows for the networks, cable channels and digital platforms, which eOne will distribute internationally. Mark Gordon will take the role of chief executive officer at the studio, which will remain L.A. based. As well as producing Gordon’s TV shows and films, the new company will finance projects by other producers. Gordon said that the partners “are building an alternative to the traditional studio way.”
As part of the deal, eOne will be able to buy the remaining 49% in The Mark Gordon Company after seven years.
The Mark Gordon Company is in production on several television series, including “Grey’s Anatomy” for ABC, “Criminal Minds” for CBS, and “Benched,” a courtroom comedy starring Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington, for USA network. The company is set to begin production on the third season of the Showtime drama “Ray Donovan,” starring Liev Shreiber, in early 2015.
The Mark Gordon Company, which will complete its current contract with ABC Studios, will continue to develop and produce film content across all genres, including the production of studio films, the companies said. eOne’s U.S. television business will continue to develop, finance and produce scripted and alternative programming, independently of the new venture.
Gordon said in a statement: “As producers, we have been successful in bringing the vision of talented creators to large audiences. We can now expand our contribution to include financing and strong global distribution. There is a voracious appetite for premium original content worldwide. In order to realize the true value of our content, retention of rights ownership and control of international distribution are musts.”
He added: “In eOne, we have found partners that share our vision of supporting the creators and are immersed in the international marketplace with great ambitions to expand in the U.S. Together, we are building an alternative to the traditional studio way.”
Darren Throop, president and CEO of eOne, said: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Mark and his team. Mark brings a wealth of experience and talent to the table. The Mark Gordon Company creates first-class content and has been entertaining audiences around the world for many years. As eOne continues to build its global platform, partnering with strong creative companies like The Mark Gordon Company is right on strategy, and I am very excited to welcome them to the larger eOne family.”