Through these deals, Newen will aim at creating synergies between talent, formats and relationships with local players, and will be boosting its distribution activities.
Newen is acquiring a 60% equity interest in Pupkin via Tuvalu Media Group, a Dutch production company Newen owns. Pupkin, launched in 2003 by Pieter Kuijpers, Iris Otten and Sander van Meurs, is one of the Netherlands’ leading feature film and drama studios. Its current production slate includes Netflix’s first Dutch series, an Amsterdam-set untitled coming-of-age/horror drama.
With Tuvalu and Pupkin, Newen will become the third-largest local player in the Netherlands.
“Pupkin is very complementary to Tuvalu Media Group because the first is strong in drama production and the other one is experienced in non-scripted. Having both outfits in the Netherlands allows Newen to consolidate our foothold in the Netherlands, which is a dynamic market where streaming services have a large presence,” said Romain Bessi, a former longtime executive of the Canal Plus Group, who recently joined Newen as deputy CEO. “European series are traveling more and more, and Newen wants to be part of it.”
Newen has also acquired a 33% equity stake in Nimbus, the 25-year-old Danish company behind “Festen,” “The Bridge” and the “Antboy” trilogy. Founded by Bo Ehrhardt and Birgitte Hald, Nimbus has a large catalogue, which will allow Newen to access adaptation rights, Scandinavian talent and formats.
Newen has already started co-developing with Nimbus Film the drama series “Northern Lights,” which it will sell worldwide, and an animated series adaptation of Nimbus’ hit film franchise “Antboy,” which will be made with Blue Spirit.
“Scandinavia has been a hot spot for talent for a long time, first with Nordic Noir and now with other genres such as comedy,” said Bessi, citing the example of the Danish show “Rita,” which was successfully adapted into “Sam” for TF1 in France.
Nimbus and Pupkin will have access to Newen Network, a group of European TV producers who share each others’ formats. Newen is currently making the Amazon series “Germanized” with Germany’s Bavaria Film, which is part of the network.
Bessi said Newen was exploring opportunities in the U.K. market but said it was a complex landscape to step in.