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March 2012 – Red Arrow completes CPL deal

By Jake Kanter

Red Arrow Entertainment has completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in A League of Their Own producer CPL Productions.

The UK arm of Red Arrow Entertainment Group, the international production division of European media conglomerate ProSiebenSat.1, has picked up more than 51% of the indie for a price understood to be between £6m-£8m.

A spokesman refused to confirm the precise percentage of the stake holding, but it is known that CPL’s 2010 turnover was £10.2m. This was up 5% on the company’s revenue of £9.7m in 2009.

The deal - revealed by Broadcast in January - represents Red Arrow’s first investment in a non-scripted indie in the UK, after it took a 51% stake in drama producer Mob Film last year.

Red Arrow’s UK operations are run by former Sky 1 controller James Baker and joint managing director Joel Denton.

As part of the agreement, CPL will secure a first look at Red Arrow’s growing slate of formats with the aim of producing them for a UK market. Meanwhile, CPL’s programming will be distributed worldwide by Red Arrow’s SevenOne International.

CPL is run by Danielle Lux, Murray Boland and Heather Hampson after they completed a management buyout of former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? producer Celador Productions in December 2006. They will retain ownership of the remaining shares in the company.

“Access to the world market is key to the next phase in CPL’s growth. Red Arrow will take our new formats out into the world and we will bring the best of theirs into the UK,” said Lux.

Jan Frouman, group managing director of Red Arrow, added: “CPL has proven to be outstanding at producing hit shows of the highest quality.”

CPL engaged acquisitions specialist About Corporate Finance and media law firm Wiggin to advise on the deal, with separate law company Addleshaw Goddard advising the shareholders.

The indie also produces Sky 1’s Wall of Fame and ITV1’s All Star Mr and Mrs.