With fresh investment from The Raine Group in hand, Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens’ Propagate has bought into Incognita, the French shingle run by Edouard de Vesinne. The timing worked for both sides with Propagate having a warchest for investments after Raine backed the company, and De Vesinne exiting EuropaCorp.
“This was the first chance for us to collaborate for the European and global market,” Silverman told Variety. “Edouard understands the global market while being committed to, and part of, Europe. We see an opportunity to be a local supplier to the big global streamers that we have good relationships with, but also to focus on local markets.”
The deal has closed and speaking from Paris, Silverman said that the first projects are underway. These include “Art of War,” a drama from Clive Bradley (“Trapped”), a high-end scripted series described as being in a similar vein to BBC and AMC show “The Night Manager.”
Propagate takes a minority stake and Incognita retains its status as a French independent. The focus will be drama and high-end factual. De Vesinne’s Incognito has been a movie producer, with some projects still in the pipeline, but he said his focus is now on TV.
“I wanted to remain an independent to offer an alternative to the vertically integrated companies and larger production groups, but at the same time I didn’t want to be a starving producer and wanted to be competitive, there is a war for IP and you need that,” he said.
Silverman knows De Vesinne from pitching to him when the French exec was at free-to-air broadcaster M6, and latterly when Silverman was at NBC and he picked up action series “XIII” from De Vesinne, after he had returned to production. De Vesinne’s other credits include “Taken,” “No Limit,” and “Taxi Brooklyn.”
Cyrus Farrokh, president of International for Propagate, will distribute content resulting from the partnership globally.