The U.K.-based factual producer Barcroft Studios has been acquired by Future for £23.5 million ($30 million) in cash and shares.
Barcroft says the new ownership will allow it to expand its output. Sam Barcroft will remain in charge of day-to-day operations alongside COO Caspar Norman and Chief Creative Officer Alex Morris.
The firm has a slate that includes Amazing Interiors for Netflix, The Day the Dinosaurs Died for BBC Two and Most Incredible Homes for Facebook Watch. It has funded a range of popular series on social-media platforms, many of which have been subsequently adapted for TV. Barcroft will now also develop and produce originals for Future’s portfolio of more than 180 brands, among them TechRadar, PC Gamer, MusicRadar, Space.com, Android Central, Real Homes and Total Film.
The takeover by Future comes three years after the minority stake investment by Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund. Future is taking full 100-percent control of Barcroft Studios.
“We’re delighted to join one of Britain’s most successful media companies,” Barcroft said. “Future’s stable of media brands is rapidly evolving across digital, e-commerce and events. Combining this with our expertise in the creation and distribution of amazing TV and video is an exciting proposition, enabling us to supersize our offering to broadcast, VOD and social media partners. We also can’t wait to collaborate with Future’s world-class editorial teams, launching some of publishing’s most iconic media IP into TV and digital video.”
“Barcroft Studios are innovative TV and digital video producers who understand how to build communities at scale around content,” added Zillah Byng-Thorne, chief executive of Future. “With this acquisition, we see a fantastic opportunity to further innovate across our diverse media portfolio. The opportunity to bring Barcroft Studios’ own IP, huge audiences and their team’s production expertise alongside our fantastic editorial content and brands, leveraging them into TV and video is an exciting step forward.”