Factual TV and digital video production company Barcroft Studios has been 100% acquired by global multi-platform media company Future plc for a total consideration of £23.5 million in a combination of cash and shares.

The deal will enable Barcroft Studios to accelerate the creation, production and distribution of their original series. Recent productions include ‘Amazing Interiors’ for Netflix, ‘The Day the Dinosaurs Died’ for BBC Two and ‘Most Incredible Homes’ for Facebook Watch.

CEO Sam Barcroft will continue to oversee day to day operations of the Barcroft Studios brand under Future plc’s ownership alongside Chief Operating Officer Caspar Norman and Chief Creative Officer Alex Morris.

Barcroft Studios has established 15 original self-funded digital series, including ‘Extreme Love’, ‘Born Different’ and ‘Beastly’, which have attracted over 63 million followers across social video platforms including YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook. Many of these brands have subsequently been adapted as TV shows for broadcast networks and VOD platforms with more to follow in 2020.

The acquisition will also see Barcroft Studios developing and producing original TV programming and video content for Future’s portfolio of 180+ media brands. Future’s media portfolio includes brands such as TechRadar, PC Gamer, MusicRadar, Space.com, Android Central, Real Homes and Total Film.

Barcroft Studios was founded in 2003 as Barcroft Media by CEO Sam Barcroft. The company expanded from providing exclusive stories and photography for print media brands, to producing premium original factual video content for VOD platforms, TV networks and consumer brands. The company rebranded as Barcroft Studios in early 2019.

The sale process is expected to be completed by the end of November and comes three years after Channel 4 acquired a minority stake in Barcroft Media via its Indie Growth Fund and sees the broadcaster exit from the business.

 “We’re delighted to join one of Britain’s most successful media companies. 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,” said Sam Barcroft, CEO of Barcroft Studios.

 “Barcroft Studios are innovative TV and digital video producers who understand how to build communities at scale around content. 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,” said Zillah Byng-Thorne, Chief Executive of Future plc.

“Barcroft Studio’s success is testament to the role our Indie Growth Fund plays in the industry to help support and nurture creative talent as well as to deliver returns to Channel 4. We’ve loved working with Sam and the team on their growth journey as investor and creative partner and we look forward to continuing to work with them as part of Future.” said Alex Mahon, Chief Executive of Channel 4.

Barcroft Studios was advised in the sale process by teams led by Chris Graves at Deloitte LLP and Ken Wilkinson for Osborne Clarke LLP.

Staff Reporter

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