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U.K.’s Channel 4 Takes Stake in Multi-Media Content Company Barcroft

LONDON — U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has taken a minority stake in multi-media content company Barcroft Holdings, which specializes in content creation and digital distribution.

Barcroft Holdings creates, licenses, distributes and publishes news and factual content featuring “the amazing side of life” across its core businesses: Barcroft Media, Barcroft Productions, Barcroft TV and branded content arm Barcroft Plus.

Barcroft Media is an established editorial content agency which licenses and distributes text, photography, TV documentaries and short form video clips to producers, publishers, broadcasters and digital platforms in over 50 countries.

Barcroft Productions creates original linear and digital TV programming for brands and a broad range of U.K. and international networks, including recently announced “The Outsiders” (MTV), multiple series of “Body Bizarre” (TLC), “Inside the KKK” (Channel 4) and “Bear Grylls: Man vs. Everest” (Discovery).

Barcroft TV is one of YouTube’s most watched factual channels with over 2million subscribers and over 1.8 billion views to date, and is a key component of the group’s multi-platform channel offering. Barcroft TV is also carried on AOL On, MSN, Vessel, China’s YouKu and GyaO! in Japan.

Barcroft Plus is the fastest growing business within the group and offers production, creative and distribution services to advertising, PR and media agencies and consumer brands direct. Recent work has included projects for PlayStation, Ogilvy and EE.

David Abraham, chief executive of Channel 4, said: “As Channel 4’s growth in online and commercial innovation continues apace, it’s an exciting time for our Indie Growth Fund to make its first investment in a future-facing business with both content creation and multi-platform distribution capabilities. Barcroft’s ability to connect with younger audiences globally, and their work with different formats, platforms and brands, aligns with our own commercial growth and we look forward to sharing our expertise to help Barcroft grow and to develop 4’s wider digital strategy.”

Barcroft Media was founded by CEO Sam Barcroft in 2003, a former newspaper picture editor and photojournalist. He now leads the group alongside managing director, Caspar Norman, an experienced television production exec who has worked with companies including Brook Lapping, Mentorn and Redback Productions, and creative director, Alex Morris, who worked at OK Magazine and Closer before joining Barcroft Media.

Barcroft Holdings headquarters are in Hoxton, London, with offices in Delhi and New York.

Sam Barcoft said: “The Barcroft businesses have grown quickly, particularly over the past two years. The time is now right to build out our content and distribution offering, particularly in television production and the branded content space through Barcroft Plus. For many years Channel 4 has proven that successful disruption at scale and constant innovation are its core strengths, which makes them the perfect partner for us.”

Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s sales director, will represent Channel 4 at the Barcroft Holdings board.

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