Asacha Media Group, a multinational partnership of content creators and producers, launched Thursday, with backing from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.
With headquarters in Paris, Asacha brings together several experienced executives with strong track-records in their respective markets, who will be investing in the group alongside core leadership, while retaining a significant minority stake in their business.
The company will mainly focus on developing, packaging and producing non-English language scripted series and films, but it will also produce reality series, kids’ entertainment, factual programming and documentaries.
Asacha will operate across Europe, Middle East and Africa, with a core focus on France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Central and Eastern Europe. The company will also do business in further territories such as the U.K., the Nordics, the Middle East and Turkey.
Asacha is led by founding partners and Co-CEOs Gaspard de Chavagnac and Marina Williams, who have held numerous high-ranking exec positions at major European media companies, including Zodiak Media Group and Endemol Shine Group. The third founding partner is Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, CEO of MBC Group in the Middle East and formerly CEO of Zodiak Media Group, who takes a non-executive role as vice chairman of the company’s supervisory board.
Asacha has initially partnered with Italian production houses, Picomedia and Stand By Me, as well as the French producer, Mintee Studio, acquiring a majority stake in the three companies, which have combined annual revenues of approximately €50 million ($54.4 million).
Picomedia, founded and led by Italian former CEO of FremantleMedia Italy, Roberto Sessa, is known for producing high-end scripted series for major broadcasters, as well as theatrical feature films. In addition to his continuing leadership of Picomedia, Sessa will now join Asacha’s supervisory board.
Stand By Me, founded by Italian screenwriter, director and television producer, Simona Ercolani, is behind a significant slate of factual titles, reality series, kids programming and documentaries. Ercolani will now serve as group chief creative officer, entertainment, factual and kids, for Asacha, while continuing to lead Stand By Me as CEO and creative director. Italian media veterans and Stand By Me stakeholders, Francesco Nespega and Giuliano Tranquilli, will also become shareholders of Asacha, along with Simona Ercolani.
Mintee Studio is a premium scripted producer founded and led by Gaspard de Chavagnac, alongside highly experienced French film and drama producers, Jacques Salles and Floriane Cortes.
All founding partners and acquired production companies’ founders are also investing in Asacha next to Oaktree. With equity support from Oaktree, Asacha is in negotiations to acquire additional production companies in major markets across the EMEA region. Further details will be announced in due course.
Asacha will also pursue ambitious growth through joint ventures and start-ups across its key markets, as well as organically building its IP creation, packaging and production business.
De Chavagnac commented: “Asacha Media Group’s aim is to become an international leader in content creation and production with the financial support and business development expertise of Oaktree. We are launching with three first-rate companies that have proven track records and exceptional talent, and we have the resources to quickly expand our international footprint.”
Williams commented: “Asacha Media Group is building a powerful crossborder partnership of closely-aligned talent, who will each share a stake in the overall business. This model provides us with the expertise and geographical reach needed to deliver world class content to a diversity of international platforms with wide-ranging budgets.”