Alcon Entertainment, best known for “The Blind Side,” is launching Alcon Management Enterprises to invest in talent management.
The 14-year-old financing-production company is in the final stages of acquiring a controlling interest in Madhouse Entertainment, a boutique literary talent management company with 50 clients. Madhouse will retain an ownership interest, with Madhouse co-presidents Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger continuing to run the day-to-day business.
Terms of the deal, announced Tuesday, were not disclosed. The transaction is something of an unprecedented expansion move by a pure production company in Hollywood.
“We believe the formation of AME marks an important step in Alcon’s growth and are thrilled that Madhouse Entertainment will be the first management company acquired by AME,” said Alcon toppers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. “We believe strongly that Robyn and Adam are poised to make Madhouse one of the premiere talent management companies in the industry.”
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Madhouse will become the first component of Alcon Management Enterprises, designed as a holding company for as many as six talent management companies Alcon intends to acquire. In each deal, Alcon will acquire a controlling interest while each existing management team continues to maintain a significant ownership percentage and continues to operate in a largely autonomous manner.
Alcon said it has no other acquisition targets at this time.
Madhouse clients include Dave Andron, co-exec producer on FX’s “Justified”; Liz Garcia & Josh Harto, creators of TNT’s “Memphis Beat”; screenwriter David Guggenheim (Universal’s “Safe House”); screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski (Alcon’s “Prisoners”); Lauren Iungerich, creator/showrunner of MTV’s “Awkward”; screenwriter Dave Kajganich (“The Invasion”); Liz Kruger & Craig Shapiro, creators of USA’s “Necessary Roughness”; Jeffrey Lieber, co-creator of “Lost”; and Jason Smilovic, creator of NBC’s “My Own Worst Enemy” and ABC’s “Karen Sisco.”
“We feel very fortunate to integrate Madhouse with Alcon,” saidKolbrenner and Meisinger. “Andrew and Broderick share our philosophies about the business, and we know this union will be very beneficial for our clients and mutually beneficial for our companies in general; it’s a perfect fit.”
Kosove and Johnson told Variety that the idea of forming a talent management division dates back to their original business plan for backer Fred Smith — with the idea that putting Alcon closer to intellectual property has a strategic value. But they stressed that Alcon’s involvement will be indirect and consist of offering insight and expertise to clients under the AME banner, while the companies report to the AME board.
Kosove and Johnson also said Alcon has already put into place a set of internal guidelines to ensure that Alcon does not receive preferential treatment on projects created by the clients under the AME umbrella. “The mandate for Madhouse and any other AME companies is to always put the best career interests of their clients first,” the duo added.
Alcon and Madhouse first worked together two years ago when they launched development on Guzikowski’s “Prisoners” script. That deal opened the way to the companies discussing an alliance of business operations.
Kosove and Johnson also told Variety that the launch of Alcon Management Enterprises opens the door for Alcon to begin moving into TV production but gave no further details.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Alcon by David Fierson, senior VP of business affairs, and Scott Parish, Alcon COO and CFO, and by Madhouse attorney David Fox of Myman, Abell, Fineman, Fox, Greenspan, Light.