The owner aims to establish himself as one of the major content providers for international streaming platforms like Netflix.
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is investing $150 million in an independent studio that makes the Planet of the Apes movies and the TV show Love Is Blind.
The agreement signposts a connection between the Qataris and North Road Co’s CEO, media tycoon Peter Chernin, valuing North Road at more than $1 billion.
Qatar’s contribution comes on top of a $500 million potential commitment from Providence Equity Partners and another $300 million in debt financing from Apollo Global Management Inc. Because he anticipates that a number of entertainment assets will be put up for sale in the next year or two, Chernin is hoarding funds so that he will have the means to close agreements, reports said.
He declined to say which specific purchases his company is already considering, but there are currently three or four.
“There will be plenty of opportunities,” Chernin said in an interview, according to reports. “Rather than find an opportunity we don’t have money for, we’d rather have enough of a bankroll that we have flexibility.”
Chernin has already staked a sizable amount of money on unscripted programming’s potential.
Red Arrow Studios, which owns the reality TV production company Kinetic Content, sold its US assets to North Road last year. Love Is Blind and The Ultimatum, two of Netflix’s most watched original series, were produced by Kinetic.
In order to serve as a holding company for many studios and production firms, Chernin established North Road last year. He aims to establish himself as one of the major content providers for international streaming platforms like Netflix.
Its assets include of Words + Pictures, a sports-focused producer run by former ESPN executive Connor Schell, as well as his name-brand company, which produced Ford vs. Ferrari and the most recent Planet of the Apes movies. More than a dozen projects are now in progress at Words + Pictures.
Chernin feels that his company is in a strong position to continue selling to all Hollywood customers, despite the fact that a weakening economy has caused many of them to become more cost conscious, the report detailed. “Content spending will continue to grow, it’s grown every single year of my lifetime,” he said.
“As those big platforms get bigger and bigger, there will be greater need for experienced, trustworthy, well-financed independents.”