Chicken Soup for the Soul, the parent company of Crackle and other streaming platforms, has reached an agreement to acquire production-distribution outfit 1091 Pictures for $15.6 million.
The pact calls for Chicken Soup to acquire the New York-based company for $8 million in cash and the rest in stock. The deal brings to Chicken Soup a library of movies and TV series as well as its own streaming distribution platforms.
Chicken Soup plans to merge 1091 Pictures assets with its Screen Vision division to enhance both companies’ ability to provides on-demand distribution options for independent filmmakers.
“The 1091 Pictures team transformed their large content library into a scalable, modern distribution platform with a compelling slate of channels that are a pragmatic addition to our existing assets,” said David Fannon, president of Screen Media Ventures. “There are great synergies between our two companies. Over time, joining 1091 Pictures’ acquisition and distribution team with Screen Media’s team, leveraging the impressive infrastructure 1091 Pictures built for digital fulfillment, and folding the 1091 Pictures-owned channel business into the Crackle Plus networks will make this a mutually beneficial and smooth transition. The 1091 Pictures’ pipeline of over 350 titles per year will provide a steady supply of new content to the company for years to come.”
Based in Cos Cob, Conn., Chicken Soup is banking on the FAST channel explosion to drive growth as it acquires content libraries and platforms. 1091 Pictures was formed in 2019 through the acquisition of Orchard Film Group by industry veterans Danny Stein and Joe Samberg.
“This is the next evolution in our content library strategy,” said Elana Sofko, Chief Strategy Officer for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “The genre content with loyal fan bases from 1091 Pictures includes music, over a dozen different sports, paranormal, and much more, enabling us to continue to grow both our streaming services and our FAST channels. We will also continue growing the business that the 1091 Pictures team started and augment it with additional opportunities from the combined catalogue.”
Chicken Soup said the acquisition would bring in $10 million in incremental revenue and $3 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over the next 12 months.
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with the Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Screen Media team,” said Eric Min, General Manager and Head of Content for 1091 Pictures. “We are bullish that the scale and reach of the combined teams starts us on an exciting journey to be able to further capitalize on this strong amalgamation of assets.”
Among the high-profile titles in the 1091 library are “The Ghost of Peter Sellars” (2018), Taika Waititi’s “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (2016) and “The Overnight” (2015) as well as documentaries such as “Linda Rondstadt: The Sound of My Voice” (2019) and “Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind” (2020).
(Pictured: “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.”)