Former IM Global Head Stuart Ford Launches AGC Studios



Stuart Ford, founder and former CEO of IM Global, on Wednesday announced the launch of a new international film and TV production and licensing company, AGC Studios.
AGC Studios has initial backing from three partners: Latin American private asset management firm MediaNet Partners; Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Symantec CEO and Fibonacci Films chairman Greg Clark; and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the Arabic-speaking world.
Ford’s new company plans to develop, produce, finance and license feature films, TV as well as digital and musical content.
Former IM Global CFO Miguel Palos will serve as Chief Operating Officer of the new company, which will have headquarters in both London and L.A.
The new studio’s Hollywood output will have a wide-ranging multicultural focus, designed for exploitation across global platforms including major studio partnerships, streaming platforms, traditional broadcast and cable television networks and independent distributors, both in the U.S. and internationally.
Las summer, Ford was forced out of IM Global after a dispute about its direction with Tang Media Partners, which had acquired the company for $200 million.
According to multiple reports, the founder’s exit was acrimonious, stemming from a deep-rooted disagreement over the future plans for the company. Tang acquired “Spotlight” distributor Open Road Films last summer for an undisclosed price, a move Ford was said to have opposed.
Under Ford’s leadership, IM Global had some notable success on the film front, including the critically acclaimed Mel Gibson war drama “Hacksaw Ridge.”

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Disney to acquire most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion 
In a massive deal that could change the entertainment industry even more than AT&T-Time Warner, Disney announced plans to acquire Fox’s film and TV studios and much of its non-broadcast television business, including regional sports networks and cable networks such as FX, FXX and Nat Geo. Disney would also pick up Fox’s stake in the European pay-TV giant Sky — and be better positioned to win regulatory approval to complete the acquisition of the 61 percent of the company it does not already own.

Discovery Communications agrees to buy Scripps Networks Interactive for $11.9 billion 
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Discovery/Scripps

Sinclair Broadcast Group agrees to buy Tribune Media for $3.8 billion 
This deal, if approved, would give conservative-leaning Sinclair control of 223 stations in 108 markets, including 39 of the top 50, covering 72 percent of households in the country. And it’s only possible under rule changes implemented by new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Sinclair/Tribune

Cineworld offers to buy Regal Cinemas for more than $3 billion 
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Cineworld/Regal

Meredith Corp. acquires Time Inc. for $2.8 billion 
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Meredith/Time

Verizon acquires Straight Path Communications for $2.3 billion 
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Verizon/Straight Path

Disney buys the rest of BAMTech for $1.6 billion 
The Mouse House jumped into internet TV in a major way in 2017, announcing upcoming Disney and ESPN-branded streaming services and acquiring the rest of streaming tech company BAMTech to power those products.
Disney/BAMTech

Entercom buys CBS Radio for $1.5 billion   
CBS Radio was intended to be spun off from its broadcast parent in an IPO, but instead it was scooped up by a competitor. The combined company, now the second largest radio business in the country, owns and operates 244 stations in 47 markets.
Entercom/CBS Radio

MGM buys the rest of Epix for $1 billion 
The independent studio went all in on the pay-TV business, buying the rest of the premium cable network from Viacom and Lionsgate. And that’s paid immediate dividends, as MGM’s media networks division propelled it to a strong third quarter.
MGM/Epix

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Rewind 2017: Media and content consolidation continued this year

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