ProSiebenSat.1 is investing US$83 million at a valuation of US$240,000,000.
MUNICH & LOS ANGELES, Jul 08, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The ProSiebenSat.1 Group, one of the largest independent media corporations in Europe, is internationalizing its online video business, founding "Collective Studio71," a globally operating multichannel network (MCN) with locations in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Toronto and London. To do so, the media group is merging its Studio71 operation with Collective Digital Studio (CDS). ProSiebenSat.1 is investing US$83 million, at a post money valuation of US$240 million, and will hold 75 percent of the equity shares in Collective Studio71. The remaining shares are held by the founders of CDS.
Collective Studio71 currently generates 2 billion video views per month, putting it among the largest MCNs worldwide. The new umbrella company will be jointly managed by Christof Wahl, (Chair), Sebastian Weil and Ronald Horstman (ProSiebenSat.1) and CDS founders Michael Green and Reza Izad.
Studio 71 and CDS will run autonomously in their regions. Studio 71 will oversee European and UK operations while CDS will be responsible for the Americas and other English speaking territories. Collective Studio71 will manage the group's growing distribution efforts, technology build out, and expand its content formats globally.
The companies share a common philosophy and strategy in their markets. Both of them produce, distribute, and market video content over digital platforms and have outstanding creative talent in their networks.
CDS has built a reputation for creating opportunities for top digital influencers and premium content across multiple platforms. It was the first to take YouTube stars' premium online content to television, with FЯED on Nickelodeon, and currently Epic Meal Empire on FYI Network for Epic Meal Time. It is also known for producing the hit web series Video Game High School. Among its top YouTube Channels are Rhett & Link's Good Mythical Morning, Lilly Singh, aka IISuperwomanII, Corridor Digital, Explosm Entertainment'sCyanide and Happiness, Meredith Foster, Matthew Santoro and top pranksters Roman Atwood and VitalyzdTv. In addition, it is monetizing the capabilities of social media stars, including Matt Espinosa and Logan Paul who engage with millions of fans across Vine, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. CDS also boasts an unparalleled track record for delivering highly successful branded content initiatives for Fortune 200 brands, including Verizon, Dodge, Estee Lauder, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Sony PlayStation, and many more.
Studio71 works with top European talent and created hit digital properties such as Let's Play Together, Last Man Standing and The Mansion to name a few. Studio71 has a strong track record of building television to web properties. The Voice Kids and The Voice of Germany are some of the best performing Channels in Europe. Studio71 has some of the highest monetization rates of any MCN in Europe through its premium advertising relationships. They have built a strong branded content business working with companies like Sony and Axe.
Dr. Christian Wegner, Member of the Executive Board ProSiebenSat.1, said, "ProSiebenSat.1 created and built up its own MCN with Studio71, and it has established itself as the largest network in the German-speaking world. By founding Collective Studio71 we will now instantly be a global player in this attractive growth market."
Christof Wahl, Managing Director ProSiebenSat.1 Digital and responsible for Digital Entertainment, said, "Studio71 and CDS are joined by the same digital DNA: a strong focus on developing innovative Web-only productions and branded entertainment formats, and intensive cultivation for our creators. The added value for our partners has top priority here. By this merger we will reach a global audience and can thereby offer additional marketing opportunities to advertising customers. At the same time, we will intensify international talent development so we can also be a preferred partner for the digital influencers of tomorrow."
Michael Green, Founder and Chairman CDS: "Through our existing ProSiebenSat.1 partnership, we have been able to greatly increase monetization for our creators in Germany. The combination of our two MCNS, backed by a strong financial foundation, will enable us to leverage opportunities throughout Europe, the Americas, and other territories to establish the first truly global MCN. There will also be a strong focus on bringing in broadcast partners for all these territories worldwide."
The GF Capital Private Equity Fund, LP partnered with Collective Digital Studio management in the formation and growth of CDS and will maintain a stake in Collective Studio71.
ProSiebenSat.1 was represented by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy as legal advisor and Moelis & Company as exclusive financial advisor. Paul Hastings acted as legal advisor to CDS.
Studio71 is the multichannel network of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. Headquartered in Berlin, the company was founded in 2013 and has now established itself as the number one in Germany. Studio71 concentrates the broadcasting group's range of Web-only content and its distribution through in-house platforms like MyVideo and through third-party platforms. Germany's leading moving-image marketer is responsible for ad marketing with SevenOne Media.
About Collective Digital Studio
Collective Digital Studio (CDS), founded by Michael Green, Reza Izad, Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein, is a multi-platform digital entertainment company that develops, produces and distributes original entertainment programming. It manages one of the leading YouTube multichannel networks with over 900 channels delivering more than 1.7 billion views a month. Founded in 2011, CDS is distinguished for its ability to produce, distribute and market intellectual property across digital and traditional platforms, having pioneered the distribution of premium digital content to television. The company is best known for producing hit web series Video Game High School as well as TV shows for Epic Meal Time and F?ED. CDS boasts an unparalleled track record for delivering highly successful branded content initiatives for Fortune 200 brands, including Verizon, Dodge, Estee Lauder, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Sony PlayStation, and many more. Headquartered in Los Angeles, CDS also has offices in New York, Detroit, San Francisco and Toronto.
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SOURCE: Collective Digital Studio
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