Channel 4 has sold its stake in London-based indie Renowned Films to US outfit Critical Content.

Founded in 2012, Renowned makes unscripted, factual entertainment, features and docs. It attracted investment from Channel 4’s Growth Fund, which took a minority stake to support the growth of the business in March 2015.

Critical Content has acquired the Renowned stake owned by Channel 4’s Growth Fund, plus additional shares in the company. Critical Content’s CEO Tom Forman and EVP and CFO Christoph Pachler will join the board of Renowned. 

The deal gives Critical Content a foothold in the UK market as it expands outside the US.

“Renowned is an ambitious, forward-thinking company and we are excited that our investment will enable the company to expand its portfolio and widen its reach. Factual is a vibrant space and British companies are among the world leaders. We are thrilled to be investing in Renowned and we look forward to introducing these next generation content creators to our American buyers,” said Forman.

Max Welch, Founder and Creative Director at Renowned added: “This strategic partnership with Critical Content, in addition to the investment capital, will allow Renowned to turbo-charge our growth. We have set the stage for expansion in the UK, and are excited to grow our presence in the US in collaboration with Tom and the incredibly talented Critical Content team.”

Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s Commercial Director said: “Channel 4’s investment in Renowned is a blueprint for what the Growth Fund is here to do.  In two-and-a-half years we’ve helped Duane, Max and Tim grow their business from new and disruptive market entrants to achieving major success and now launching on the international stage – and the return on our investment will help support our ongoing commitment to the UK wide creative sector.”

Renowned’s projects include The Women Who Kill Lions for Channel 4, and BBC film NYPD: Biggest Gang in New York? (Copwatchers). One of their most recent commissions will see them take YouTube star Elijah Quashie, aka The Chicken Connoisseur, to mainstream attention on Channel 4 in The Peng Life.

Critical Content launched in 2015. Recent series include Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? (FOX), The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey (CBS, Netflix), HOME FREE (FOX) and Catfish (MTV).

Staff Reporter

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