Boom merger deal gives ambitious Twofour a platform for growth
Plymouth media firm Twofour is merging with a Welsh production business that was set up by a former controller of BBC One.
The Twofour Group is merging with Cardiff-based Boom Pictures in a deal which the firm said would create 'a major new nations and regions player' believed to be worth about £30 million.
The deal sees the two businesses join forces, although each will keep its own branding. Twofour founder Charles Wace will step down as Twofour CEO becoming non-executive chairman of Twofour and non-executive director of Boom Pictures.
Boom Pictures was set up last year by Huw Eurig Davies and Lorraine Heggessey, the former controller of BBC One, who outlined a vision of rapid growth for the business.
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Mr Wace last year said that he believed that the next stage of Twofour's development would be to become a larger player.
Twofour expands the group's network programming, moving it into genres such as entertainment and features. The deal also brings in international distribution with Twofour Rights, and a growing production presence in the US.
Twofour insisted that the deal was a merger but Boom are believed to be in the driving seat with Ms Heggessey leading the enlarged group.
The transaction has been supported by private equity firm LDC, which invested in the creation and development of Boom in 2012.
Ms Heggessey said: "We're on an exciting journey and it's the right time for us to join up with such an excellent creative and executive team who have already built a hugely successful company. Boom and Twofour fit together perfectly and have a similar positive culture, firmly rooted in the nations and regions.
"We have got off to a flying start in our first year, building Boom's programming, and attracting major comedy and drama talent. This deal will cement our position as a new leading player in the indie sector."
Mr Wace said: "Lorraine and Huw are building a fast-growing dynamic media group in Boom Pictures, that is set to become a leading force in the UK and internationally. In looking at the future of Twofour's business, the attraction was the backing of LDC, one of the UK's leading and most experienced private equity firms, combined with Lorraine's leadership and vision. This ambitious partnership is the ideal platform to help take Twofour to the next stage in its life."
The deal gives Boom Pictures a greater global footprint with Twofour Broadcast's Los Angeles office providing a base in the US and Twofour Digital's Abu Dhabi office adding a presence in the Middle East.
As part of the deal, Melanie Leach will continue in her role as MD of Twofour Broadcast, and will become an executive director of Boom Pictures; Mark Hawkins will continue in his role as MD of Twofour Digital and Rocket Science and will become an executive director of Boom Pictures; Tim Jackman, previously legal and business affairs director at the Twofour Group, will now take up a group-wide role at Boom.