TV rights distribution business behind The Inbetweeners sold to Modern Times Group

London-based Digital Rights Group has been acquired by Modern Times Group for a consideration of £13.2 million.

The TV rights distribution business behind shows including The Inbetweeners and Criminal Justice has been snapped up by a Nordic buyer.

Digital Rights Group (DRG) providers TV producers with international distribution for their rights and programmes, independent of the major broadcasters or other TV producer-owned distributors. It acquires rights to finished programmes and formats before selling them on.

Acquiring business Modern Times Group (MTG) is a Swedish-headquartered business which has operations including free-TV, pay-TV, radio and content production in four continents.

Exiting DRG through the business is Ingenious Media Active Capital (IMAC), with the firm receiving a total of up to 2x cash return on its original investment of £8.3 million. IMAC first become involved with DRG back in 2006 when it invested an initial sum of £3 million.

Under the terms of the deal, the management will retain a 7.6 per cent stake in DRG, with MTG holding the rest.

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Patrick Bradley, chief executive of Ingenious Ventures, comments, ‘With IMAC’s support, DRG has grown, both organically and through acquisition, into a leading one-stop shop for the development, funding and distribution of television rights and we are delighted without this transaction.’

To coincide with the acquisition of DRG, MTG has also bought Norwegian production company Novemberfilm for an undisclosed amount.

Jorgen Madsen Lindemann, president and CEO of MTG, comments, ‘These acquisitions reflect our strategy of increasing our international content rights portfolio, and broadening our international customer base.

‘We are very happy to welcome Jeremy Fox back as CEO for DRG. He and the rest of the team will be a valuable addition to the MTG Studios team.’

For the year ended 31 March 2013, DRG reported EBITDA of £1.6 million on sales of £23.4 million.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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